Cebu News

Acting mayor tells CBRT MGT:Garcia: Remove lampposts

Iris Hazel Mascardo - The Freeman
Acting mayor tells CBRT MGT:Garcia: Remove lampposts
This lamppost installed near the Plaza Independencia is one of those streetlights that Cebu City Acting Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia wanted removed because the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (CBRT) management reportedly failed to secure permits from the City Hall for their installation.
Joy Torrejos

CEBU, Philippines — Cebu City Acting Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia is giving the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (CBRT) management until this week to remove the controversial lampposts recently erected along the stretch of Osmeña Boulevard.

“Ako ng gipatangtang,” Garcia told reporters yesterday (Monday), June 24, 2024, adding nothing else will be put up without the approval of its permits from the Cebu City Government.

The six newly-installed lampposts, that are part of the Link to the Port Feature of the CBRT project, have recently created clamor, particularly on social media, as they were installed in one lane of the road.

It was then found out that these six lampposts didn’t have any permit to be installed, as per the Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO) during the presentation of the Link to Port design before the Cebu City Council.

In line with this, Garcia said that he had already instructed the Project Manager of Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (CBRT), Engineer Norvin Imbong, to spearhead the said removal.

In a text message to the Freeman, Technical Infrastructure Committee (TIC) chair Councilor Jerry Guardo said the removal of the said lampposts should begin Monday evening at no cost to the city government.

“Hopefully we can remove two lamposts tonight (June 24) ang completion removal of remaining post tomorrow (June 25),” Guardo told The Freeman.

Garcia, however, highlighted that the Link to the Port is an additional feature of the CBRT project that is nationally-funded despite being done in the territorial jurisdiction of Cebu City.

With this, Garcia said that such decision-making shall be coordinated with the national government, highlighting that they have presented their plans before the Cebu City government.

Last week, Garcia instructed the BRT management to halt the installation of the lampposts.

“I have ordered them ayaw nalang sa ibutang ug itangtang ang katong nabutang because it poses danger not only to the motorists but to the pedestrians alike,” said Garcia

Previously, Imbong told reporters that they had installed six of the 40 lampposts, which had the nod of the acting mayor.

Garcia, however, retorted that he approved the design of the feature in principle, but does not mean that the BRT Management will not need the necessary permits from the city government.

In the same press conference yesterday, Garcia said he ordered the acting city administrator to call on Imbong and the other members of the management as he wants to follow-up on his instructions for its removal. He also said that this directive is set to be enacted within the week.

“I have said that I am okay with it in principle but please pass through the proper channels, and it is not only me that has to approve it, it is also the city council, considering nga manira man sad og dan,” said Garcia.

Garcia further explained that the only authority that can impose a road closure is the Cebu City Council.

He added that they also have to ask Councilor Guardo of the TIC, the Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW), and the Office of the Building Official (OBO), for the proper permits.

“Kay di ta ganahan anang situation nga musulod lang sila dira unya di na sila mukuha sa necessary permits,” said Garcia.

The Link to the Port is the “general direction” of the Cebu City Government that envisions pedestrianizing the stretch from P. Del Rosario going to the Plaza Independencia. This also aims to revitalize Colon Street.

Based on the plans presented to the council, the project includes the corner of P. Del Rosario going to the GV Tower, where there will be two lanes per direction with bike lanes on both sides, as well as an extended sidewalk. This will be then connected to Plaza Independencia with one lane per direction as it will also include an arcaded sidewalk, and bike lanes on both sides.

When asked if such a vision can cause more traffic congestion, Garcia said that it has already been considered with the inclusion of the bike lane and the wider sidewalks.

“So we are going to encourage more of walking, pedestrianization at the same time, more of an environmentally friendly vehicle that will bring us from one direction to the other which a bike,” said Garcia. — (FREEMAN)

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