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JICA Study Team recommends more Cebu-Mactan bridges, railway systems

| by: Xerxes Alkuino

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) recommended the immediate construction of more bridges connecting mainland Cebu to Mactan Island.

One proposed Mactan link, which is planned to be built along Cansaga Bridge, has a rail-way on its side. It will have six lanes, with two lanes intended for train.

JICA Study Team (JST) Deputy Team Leader Ken Kumazawa said this will be “the first dual-mode bridge in the Philippines.”

The study team stated that the “two bridges can’t meet the year 2020 demand” and the “condition of the first Mactan Bridge is dilapidated.”

JST presented its draft final report of the roadmap study for Sustainable Urban Development in Metro Cebu last April 8 to the Metro Cebu Development and Coordinating Board (MCDCB).

MCDCB, which is composed of executives from public and private sector, is chaired by Governor Hilario P. Davide III.

JST also pushed for the construction of Mananga II dam and networking septage plants. These projects along with the dual-mode bridge are identified as flagships projects which are recommended for immediate construction after JST’s roadmap study.

MCDCB co-chair for private sector Roberto Aboitiz said they hope they can see its materialization within the time frame set by JST. The short- and medium-term projects are forecasted to be completed by 2020.

The roadmap projects outlined by JST involved two-layers. First is the flagship programs, which call for immediate implementation by concerned agencies after the roadmap study.

Second is the anchor programs, which bind several inter-related projects by development agenda and show focal groups for implementation.

The other identified flagship projects includes:

  1. Master Plan Study and Feasibility Study (FS) on Mass Transit Network (BRT/LRT/MRT) Development for Metro Cebu;
  2. Update of the Integrated Development Master Plan of Cebu Province;
  3. Comprehensive Study for a Cebu Integrated Flood and Drainage System Master Plan;
  4. FS on Sea Gateway Port Construction;
  5. A Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Master Plan for Metro Cebu;
  6. FS on Area Traffic Control in Metro Cebu; and
  7. Establishment of Technical Research Unit to MCDCB and its Capacity Development.

The anchor programs consist of projects in connection with 14 development agenda. These are

  1. investment promotion (Mega Cebu branding),
  2. urban greening,
  3. operationalization of Mega Cebu Spatial Plan,
  4. Mass Transit Network Development,
  5. Mactan Link Development,
  6. Urban Fringe Highway Network Development,
  7. Integrated Road Traffic Management,
  8. Gateway Development,
  9. Surface Water Resource Management,
  10. Urban Septage/Sewerage Service,
  11. Comprehensive Flood Control,
  12. Metropolitan Solid Waste Management,
  13. Advance Energy Management System, and
  14. Institutional Building of Metropolitan Governance.

Davide thanked JST’s roadmap study, which lasted for over a year. He said, “It will definitely help Cebu become a globally competitive and environmentally sustainable place.”

Metro Cebu is composed of 13 local government units of Carcar City, Cebu City, Mandaue City, Talisay City, Lapu-Lapu City, Naga City, Cordova, Consolacion, Liloan, Compostela, Minglanilla, and San Fernando.

JST Team Leader Dr. Katsuhide Nagayama said they will finalize the study following the discussions with the MCDCB members.

Aboitiz said after the final draft of the roadmap study, they will prepare the detailed studies of the proposed projects to be submitted to the Regional Development Council 7.

He assured the JICA that their output will not be put to waste.

JICA came into the picture when representatives of Yokohama City met with MCDCB in Cebu. Yokohama and Cebu City are sister-cities and Yokohama has been assisting Cebu City in some of its projects.


Aboitiz said together with Yokohama representatives, they were able to solicit the help of JICA to formulate the Mega Cebu 2050 development strategy. The study draws inspiration with the experiences of Yokohama after the opening of its international port in 1859.

MCDCB envisioned Cebu as an attractive place to do business and to live- espoused by its catchphrase Mega Cebu-Making WAVES (Wholesome, Advanced, Vibrant, Equitable, Sustainable).