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Recall Elections: Osmeña challenges Dino to run against him for city mayor

CEBU, Philippines — Despite the approval of the additional budget for the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project, Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña said detractors and critics will continue moving for the cancellation of the project.

In his press conference yesterday, Osmeña said he is willing to do a recall and run against Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Dino for the position of the chief executive of the city if the latter will continue pushing for the cancellation of the project.

“I will teach Mr. Dino on how to stop the BRT. I will agree to a recall. That’s the best way. I’m teaching him. Run against me and if he wins, he can stop the BRT,” the mayor said.

Dino has been vocal in lobbying for the cancellation of BRT to pave the way for a light rail transit project.

Osmeña said he can assist the supporters of the LRT project for as long as the city government will not dispense money for it.

As to the council’s request to have a copy of the feasibility study of the BRT, the mayor said he does not even have a copy of it.

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Osmeña clarified that the BRT project’s budget has increased due to the passage of Republic Act 10752, otherwise known as The Right of Way Act, which requires government implementing agencies to offer the market value of properties to be acquired for infrastructure projects.

The mayor said he does not have a copy of feasibility study for the BRT project, which is being asked by the City Council.

Osmeña said Councilor Joel Garganera is delaying the approval of the ordinance imposing moratorium on developments along the BRT route.

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Councilors Jose Daluz, Eugenio Gabuya, Mary Ann de los Santos, and Sisinio Andales expressed gratitude to the National Economic and Development Authority Board for approving the additional P5.67 billion budget for the BRT project from P10.6 billion to P16.3 billion.

Daluz said he is hoping that the city would also address some “legitimate concerns” that have crop up about the BRT.

De los Santos, for her part, said it’s a welcome development since BRT will address the traffic problem.

“It will benefit both the riding public and the private car transport owners. That’s precisely the reason why the mayor is bent on pushing for its implementation,” she added.

With the recent development, Gabuya said he is hoping that those who are in doubt of the project will cooperate for the speedy implementation of BRT.

Garganera said he wants the BRT to succeed but, as one of the end users of the project, he is hoping that the version of the city of the mass transport will address the traffic woes.

“BRT will not achieve its potential if there is no designated lane. How can it be a rapid if it’s is mixed with other road users,” he said.

He said there are basic questions on the implementation of the project such as; who will traverse the tunnel at Natalio Bacalso, for BRT or mixed with private vehicles; the issue on the route of Ayala to Banilad-Talamban corridor has no designated lane; among others. (FREEMAN)

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