No more time to complete Abaya’s integrated bus terminal project
Robertzon Ramirez (The Philippine Star) - January 9, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – There’s no way Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya can make good on his promise to implement before President Aquino steps down an integrated bus terminal project aimed at unclogging EDSA.

Such scenario emerged after Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Chairman Winston Ginez said such project – officially called the Integrated Terminal System – would take “one and a half years to two years” to complete.

In a Senate budget hearing in November 2012, Abaya said EDSA would be cleared of provincial buses before the end of President Aquino’s six-year term as the government was setting in place an integrated bus terminal system.

“The implementation maybe is one and half years. So clearly before the term of the President ends, we’ll have an integrated bus terminal in place,” Abaya told senators then.

Ginez said the DOTC awarded the contracts for the project to Megawide-Walter Mart (MWM) Terminals Inc. for southwest bound provincial buses in January last year and to the Ayala Land Inc. for southbound provincial buses last August.

The MWM project is expected to be finished in June 2017, while Ayala’s project is set for completion in October 2017.

He said the DOTC is negotiating with the Department of National Defense (DND) for the use of a property owned by the latter as possible site of a terminal for northbound buses in Quezon City.

Based on plans, the integrated bus terminals would be constructed in Parañaque City for southwest bound buses, Taguig City for southbound buses, and Quezon City for northbound buses.

More quit calls

Meanwhile, a militant youth group has joined calls for the dismissal of Abaya for his failure to address the country’s transport problems.

Anakbayan, through its chairman Vencer Crisostomo, also criticized President Aquino for defending Abaya, a close friend and political ally.

“All those responsible for the transport woes, including Abaya, Aquino and even former secretary Mar Roxas, should be held accountable,” Crisostomo said.

Roxas, the Liberal Party presidential candidate, was Abaya’s predecessor at the DOTC. Roxas was later appointed to the Department of the Interior and Local Government.  – With Janvic Mateo

 

ABAYA ACIRC AYALA LAND INC BUSES CHAIRMAN WINSTON GINEZ DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENSE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT INTEGRATED TERMINAL SYSTEM LAND TRANSPORTATION FRANCHISING AND REGULATORY BOARD PRESIDENT AQUINO QUEZON CITY
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