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DOTC to conduct feasibility study on mass transit system

| by: Xerxes Alkuino

Governor Hilario P. Davide III has the commitment of the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) to spearhead the feasibility study (FS) on mass transport system in Metro Cebu.

Governor Davide hopes the FS will be included in the 2016 budget saying, they might have already seen “the fruits of their labor” this early.He also wants the immediate implementation of water projects as endorsed by the Mega Cebu Development Coordinating Board (MCDCB).

He said they are trailing against time after the dry spell brought by mild El Niño has lowered water supply in the past couple of months.Chaired by the governor, MCDCB endorsed the flagship and anchor projects of the Roadmap Study for Sustainable Urban Development for Metro Cebu for presentation to the Regional Development Council (7).

The study was conducted by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Dominica Chua of the MCDCB technical working group said DOTC itself expressed interest to implement the 10 proposed mass transit projects in a meeting called by the agency last quarter.“They have accepted the projects as their own as this is their mandate,” said Chua.

On the major infrastructure projects, Chua said DOTC will look into the proposed 97 kilometer Metro Rail Transit (MRT) in the mainland and Automated Guideway Transit (AGT).The construction time of these rail systems is expected to commence in the midterm period between the years 2018-2021, based on the roadmap study.

Chua informed that the funds needed for the FS is already included in 2016 national budget. The feasibility study will validate which mass transport system is suitable in the metro area. The choices include the Bus Rapid Transit, Metro Rail Transit, and Light Rail Transit.

MCDCB’s flagship programs include construction of the Php 5-billion Mananga II Dam, which got instant pledge of funding from Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).In his earlier meeting with the board last April, DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson tasked MCDCB to provide a scheme to recover the amount.

The other key proposed infrastructure projects are the construction of the Mactan North Dual-Mode Bridge, and the construction and networking of septage plants.

The RDC 7 will have its full council meeting in July. Once it will be approved and endorsed by RDC 7, it will be presented to the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) board.

Roberto Aboitiz, MCDCB co-chair, said they will have a separate meeting with the top level executives of NEDA in the same month.