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Drivers, operators raise concern on CBRT in forum

May B. Miasco/NSA (The Freeman) - January 21, 2016 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Transport group leaders and drivers were given a chance to air their concerns on the proposed Cebu Bus Rapid Transit System in a public consultation held yesterday at University of San Carlos.

“We want to hear your part. Ultimately down the line, you will be the one to use this. Unlike most projects, we need your inputs so that we can come up with an efficient project that you are going to use, that you are going to patronize and that you are going to support,” said lawyer Rafael Christopher Yap, the project manager of CBRT.

Yap served as one of the two speakers in yesterday’s forum dubbed as “Connecting Disaster Risk Reduction and Management and Climate Change with Bus Rapid Transit,” which was also attended by students and professors.

Yap said they want to start already the procurement for the project before the election period as they plan to apply for election ban exemption to proceed with other procedures, and finally award it to the contractor.

Most of the concerns raised were related to the possible negative impact of the project to the drivers and operators once it is implemented.

Romeo Armamento, vice president of the National Confederation of Transport Workers Union-Visayas, proposed that the city government may offer jobs to displaced drivers and operators that would also help protect the environment, such as planting trees.

Acting Vice Mayor Nestor Archival, Sr., the second speaker, welcomed Armamento’s suggestion. He said that in fact, he will be drafting an ordinance that will lay out guidelines for the proposed program, which will only cover a certain period until such time the affected drivers will be able to find another stable job.

Armamento also raised his concern on the security of tenure of the drivers and operators when they will be employed as part of the project.

Archival, in response, said that as early as now, the drivers and operators must have a registry of their names for them to avail the trainings and other programs offered by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.

Armamento, lastly, said that there should be an inventory of the existing routes and routes that are not established.

Yap answered that there would be a review from time to time for the routes that have not yet been served.

“Road restructuring is one of the options being considered… We are seeing to it that we will look for ways for the drivers and operators not to be displaced,” he said.

Salde Mabitag, one of the drivers present in the forum, asked whether they could apply to be part of the project.

According to Archival, there is a need for the dri-vers to unite and have a clear registry with their designated routes for them to be prioritized in the trainings and programs that will be offered by the city or other government entities.

“As early as now, give us the complete list and we will verify them if they are real drivers or operators so that we will know and we can prioritize you,” he said, adding that other people pretend to be drivers to take advantage of the opportunity provided by the city.  (FREEMAN)

 

ACIRC ACTING VICE MAYOR NESTOR ARCHIVAL ARMAMENTO BUS RAPID TRANSIT CEBU BUS RAPID TRANSIT SYSTEM CONNECTING DISASTER RISK REDUCTION AND MANAGEMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE DRIVERS NATIONAL CONFEDERATION OF TRANSPORT WORKERS UNION-VISAYAS RAFAEL CHRISTOPHER YAP ROMEO ARMAMENTO SALDE MABITAG
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