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RDC asks DPWH-7 - Suspend DED on flyover projects
The PIEP’s objection was channeled through the Infrastructure Development Council (IDC) of the Regional Development Council (RDC)-7 and was discussed during RDC’s virtual Second Quarter Full Council meeting Friday.

RDC asks DPWH-7 - Suspend DED on flyover projects

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol (The Freeman) - June 19, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The Detailed Engineering Design (DED) study on the proposed flyover projects on N. Bacalso Avenue and P. del Rosario Street in Cebu City may be put on hold following an objection from the Philippine Institute of Environmental Planners (PIEP) - Cebu.

The PIEP’s objection was channeled through the Infrastructure Development Council (IDC) of the Regional Development Council (RDC)-7 and was discussed during RDC’s virtual Second Quarter Full Council meeting Friday.

During the meeting, RDC urged the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)-7 to suspend the DED temporarily and to look for alternative solutions to solve traffic congestion in Cebu City.

IDC Chairman Gordon Joseph said PIEP believes the flyover projects will have “undesirable outcomes”.

According to PIEP-Cebu, the flyovers will eliminate the possibility of implementing the much-needed rail-based mass transport system on the affected corridors.

They are also expected to affect the image of Cebu City as a historic city adversely and will not decongest road traffic as they will reportedly transfer road congestion to another area.

“Over the last 20 years, you will be forced to ask ourselves what has really been done to actually improve traffic because from our point of view, it has gotten worse and worse… same old, time tested traffic solutions. What exactly had been done?” said IDC chairman Gordon Alan Joseph.

The DED for the proposed flyover projects amounts to P105 million. This includes a proposed underpass.

The flyovers are designed as long skyways at 1.26 kilometers and 1.14 kilometers, respectively.

Joseph said the DED is better suspended pending DPWH’s submission of project status, consultants’ profiles, and alternative design solutions to existing vehicular traffic problem in the areas where they would be built.

Joseph said the IDC – or the RDC for that matter – has not approved the DED.

DPWH-7 Director Edgar Tabacon who was present in the meeting did not object to RDC’s recommendation but clarified that the projects were approved before he was regional director.

Tabacon said that before implementing flyover projects, they also go for road widening.

“Like the other flyovers, before we implement it, we go for widening other than traffic scheme,” he said.

The mass transport system, however, is not under their mandate of DPWH but that of the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

“We try to address in our own capacity the traffic problems that beset the metropolis,” Tabacon said.

Other proposal

Meanwhile, Tabacon disclosed DPWH’s proposal to establish a rotunda on Vestil Street at the South Road Properties near SM Seaside City and Il Curso as additional measure to decongest traffic.

“We are just waiting for the endorsement of the LGU....They need to deliberate it yet in the City council,” Tabacon said.

Fourth bridge

Meanwhile, the RDC also discussed the status of the proposed fourth Cebu-Mactan bridge and the Mandaue Coastal Road project.

During its May 25, 2021 IDC meeting, the committee was informed of Lapu-Lapu City’s objection to the alignment of the fourth bridge.

The change in the scope of work as proposed by the Lapu-Lapu City government would require a new approval from the NEDA Board and ICC.

Joseph said an increase in project cost without corresponding increase in project benefits may result in an economic internal rate of returning lower than 10 percent that could eventually lead to the disapproval of the project.

A representative from the Lapu-Lapu City government said Mayor Junard Chan is scheduled to meet with OPAV Secretary Michael Dino to discuss the matter. – JMO (FREEMAN)

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