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Memo of understanding signed: Monorail study in Cebu City on

Dominggo S. Peñaloza, chairman and president of Philtram Transportation Consortium Inc. (PTCI), signs the memorandum of understanding the consortium entered into with the Cebu City government for a business case study for a monorail system in Cebu City.  Kristine Joyce W. Campaña

CEBU, Philippines - The Cebu City government yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding for the conduct of a business case study for a monorail system here.

“This is at no cost to the city. We will help them technically, but we will not be spending money on this. We will help if they want to get this data, to assign some personnel,” said Mayor Tomas Osmeña.

He said he is even willing to spend up to P1 million if the study is “really good for the city.”

With the memorandum signed, Philtram Transportation Consortium Inc. (PTCI) will soon start the business case study.

PTCI co-founder and president Arnold Ray Alagar said the study will last up to six months, depending on the information and data needed and gathered.

Under the memorandum of understanding, the business case study will involve analyses of present or future trip generation/distribution; probable alignments; ridership levels and fares; preliminary design; related cost estimates; project viability assessment; and formulation of implementation plans; and project financing, among others.

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Alagar said one important aspect the study will look into is the possible route of the monorail.

“We will be examining the routes through the city, making sure that it would serve the most people, provide good means, highlighting the best of Cebu City,” he said.

“We feel it’s a good alternative or good addition to the city and providing mass transportation that can complement BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) and any other form of transportation. It can be also attraction for tourism. It flies over the city. It’s very clean. It’s very visually appealing like in Las Vegas, they have a monorail there,” he added.

A monorail, he said, can accommodate 40,000 passengers in a day.

He said one of the areas they want included in the route is the South Road Properties to connect the same to the city’s central district and other tourist attractions.

“It would be a platform for economic development because we’d like to integrate some other businesses within its station,” he said.

Alagar clarified the company will not build the monorail itself and will serve simply as a conduct between foreign and local entities.

LRT

Meanwhile, at the Convergence of Mega Cebu Leaders yesterday, Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Lloyd Dino said Cebu needs a mass transport system badly.

"But there is this somebody who said that LRT is anti-poor. I will not accept that. Such statement is anti-Cebuanos. LRT is not anti-poor," Dino said.

To recall, it was Tomas Osmeña who said the LRT is anti-poor. He, instead, wants a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system.

But Dino said it will be the poor who will benefit from the LRT as the rich people will not use the train.

Dino said the planned LRT will connect Carcar City in the south to Danao City in the north, as well as Mandaue City, Lapu-Lapu City, and the Mactan Cebu International Airport.

"First phase pa lang ni. LRT will happen soon. It will surely happen under the Duterte administration," Dino said yesterday.

First District Rep. Gerard Anthony Gullas said there have been several proposals in the past for the construction of an LRT line but this never materialized.

"But now is different. We have Secretary Dino nga duol sa Malacañang ug makahunghung gyud sa Presidente. That's why we are supportive of this LRT project,” Gullas said.

Talisay Mayor Eddie Gullas who also served as congressman in the First District said the LRT was pushed during the 10th and 11th Congress but the same was turned down.

Dino said the First Phase of the LRT Project will be more or less 90 kilometers and will cost an estimated $3 billion.

He said a mass transport system will make travel faster and will spur business and economic development in the countryside.

He added that the P50 billion worth Metro Cebu Expressway is already part of the Duterte administration's #BuildBuildBuild and will be completed during his administration. It is expected to start next year.

The 74-kilometer Metro Cebu Expressway will connect Naga City to Danao City. The civil works is expected to begin next year.

Dino said the project will be the biggest infrastucture initiative since the construction of the Marcelo Fernan Bridge, which was implemented during the time of former President Fidel Ramos and completed during the time of former Joseph Estrada.

"All these projects dapat mahuman gyud ni within the term of President Duterte," Dino said. (FREEMAN)

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