Cebu News

Once BRT is done: Osmeña assures alternative livelihood for PUJ drivers

Odessa O. Leyson - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Cebu City mayor-elect Tomas Osmeña has assured that public utility jeepney drivers affected by the Bus Rapid Transit System will be given an alternative livelihood.

But Osmeña said not all jeepney drivers will be displaced by the transportation project, which he has introduced years ago.

He further said that he will further study the plan.

"Of course, pero dili tanan. Sa ako panahon, naghatag na ko og public hearing, pero ang question karon is ang pag-implement, so kinahanglan nga hinay-hinay gyud," said Osmeña.

The Cebu City Transportation Office has prepared two alternative jobs for PUJ drivers to be affected – work for BRT and resort to non-transportation related employment like carpentry, plumbing, or welding.

But according to three students from the University of the Philippines Cebu – Decelle Suarez, Karina Celicious, and Naomi Gamos – who conducted a research about BRT, those alternatives are only for a few drivers.

Gregory Perez of the Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operators Nationwide (PISTON) also said that they will help provide jobs for the drivers.

"Kung dili tanan man gani, pangitaan na namo og paagi nga tanang drivers maanaa'y trabaho," he said.

It has been reported that PISTON is against the implementation of the BRT system.

Perez also hoped that Osmeña will further study the project.

"Nanghinaut mi nga study-han niya og maayo, then actually, gaplano sad 'mi kung kinsa na'ng naa sa nagplano sa BRT karon para maistorya sad namo," he said.

He added that he had already talked with BRT project manager lawyer Rafael Yap about the project.

"Pero hangtud karon wala pa mahuman ang mga study," Perez said.

Meanwhile, Yap said he cannot give an update on the project until he briefs Osmeña about it.

The construction of BRT's phase 1 is reportedly scheduled to begin by the end of 2016.

Under this phase, an exclusive 23-kilometer corridor for the BRT buses from Bulacao to Ayala to Talamban will be constructed. New roads will also be constructed along the South Road Properties. —(FREEMAN)


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