Cebu projects to hopefully push through under Labella
Carlo Lorenciana (The Freeman) - May 16, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Will Metro Cebu finally have a Light Rail Transit (LRT) system now that Cebu City has elected a new leader who is backed by the administration?

“Hopefully,” said Regional Development Council chair Kenneth Cobonpue.

Sought for comment yesterday, the businessman said the election of Edgar Labella as new mayor of Cebu City "brings a new spirit of openness, cooperation dynamism".

Incumbent Mayor Tomas Osmeña lost to Labella in the recently concluded midterm elections.

Cobonpue is looking forward to Cebu City’s participation again in Mega Cebu under a new mayor.

It can be recalled Osmeña backed out of Mega Cebu, a project of the Cebu Business Club, Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Yokohama aimed at mobilizing Cebu local governments into mapping and implementing shared sustainable projects.

"The LRT will finally happen, more investors will come in, and we will return to Mega Cebu where there are many projects waiting to be implemented," Cobonpue said.

Earlier, Labella said President Duterte had vowed in his recent meeting with him to build an LRT in Metro Cebu.

He had also recently met with Department of Transportation chief Arthur Tugade to discuss about the Metro Cebu Integrated Intemodal Transport System (MCIITS).

BRT and LRT form part of the MCIITS.

The system will also include a skytrain project, intelligent transport systems, and a greenways project, among others.

The LRT system will become the major component of the integrated transport system, which was proposed to traverse from Carcar City to Danao City.

Osmeña has also been pushing for the implementation of the already approved and funded Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system in Cebu City. The World Bank-funded project has long been delayed.

Other Projects

Cobonpue also cited the key projects proposed by the Mega Cebu, including "the flood control master plan, the integrated traffic master plan and the fast tracking of additional road projects all over the city."

The program had also pushed for a creation of a Mega Cebu Development Authority (MCDA) that will institutionalize the Metro Cebu Development Coordinating Board (MCDCB) which will cover seven cities, six towns and Cebu province along with the seven private sector groups and 20 national government agencies.

Moreover, Cobonpue raised the need for "a friendlier and more open investment and business climate."

"Unlike the previous administration which closed and bullied businesses, and only favored certain companies to come in," he said.

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