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Don’t cancel BRT but pursue LRT: Cebu chamber; group warns: Cebu in a crisis

The economic benefits of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system are clear and canceling it is “not the right thing to do,” the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) said in a statement today.

What government can do is to make road widening an integral component of the project, CCCI said.

The organization issued the press statement after reports came out that the Department of Transportation recommended to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez that the BRT project be cancelled.

Urgent need for mass transport

In the letter, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade and Presidential Adviser for the Visayas Michael Dino government will come up with “a replacement project superior to the BRT.”

“Cebu urgently needs a mass transport system today. It has already reached choke point with traffic congestion affecting all sectors of society,” CCCI said.

“It took more than 10 years for the BRT to go through its approval process not to mention countless time and resources spent in the process. The economists have computed a very high Economic Internal Rate of Return (EIRR) for the BRT at 53% meaning that the economic benefits are very clear. The project is ready to take off,” CCCI said.

Cebu BRT station
A proposed BRT station.

BRT, LRT will complement each other

“While BRT is a short-term solution ready for implementation, LRT which will benefit a bigger volume of commuters over a wider area of Cebu should be actively pursued today for implementation within the shortest time possible to support the high growth of Cebu. LRT and BRT will complement each other.”

“Cebu is in a crisis situation. Cebu Chamber would like to enjoin all sectors of society to set aside political differences and work together to solve the traffic problems in order to achieve our common desire to have a Cebu where quality family life and business shall flourish,” CCCI said.

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Cebu News Digest: April 23, 2015: DOTC awards Cebu BRT contracts to Korean firm; CV has low rice sufficiency

Kunhwa Engineering & Consulting was awarded with the contract for the detailed engineering design and construction supervision of the Bus Rapid Transit system project in Cebu City.

According to the Department of Agriculture (DA) 7, Central Visayas only has a 34-35 percent rice sufficiency, which means that only about 2.4 million of the 6.8 million people living in Central Visayas will be fed by the region’s rice production.

Here are the top stories for today, April 23, 2015:

Korean company gets BRT contracts

The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) awarded the contracts for the detailed engineering design and construction supervision of the Bus Rapid Transit system project in Cebu City to Kunhwa Engineering & Consulting.

According to Cebu-BRT office head Rafael Yap, the notice of award is only a prerequisite to proceed with the actual detailed engineering design.

However, DOTC still needs to issue a notice to proceed after all requirements are complied with by the Korean company before Kunhwa can start with the detailed engineering design. Yap said that the notice to proceed includes vital details, especially the timeline.

The first phase of the BRT project would involve detailed engineering design and preparation of bidding documents for the engineering, structural, civil, architectural, electrical and mechanical design while the second phase covers the supervision of the transit way and the supporting infrastructure during the construction.

Despite low rice sufficiency, CV gets enough supply

The DA explained that Central Visayas is not a rice-producing region because its soil condition, terrain and topography are not suitable for rice production.

In Cebu, the areas that pass the conditions for rice production are Carcar City, Toledo City and Argao.

Despite this situation, Central Visayas still gets enough supply of rice. This is primarily because of the fact that rice producers from Eastern Visayas and Western Visayas bring their rice produce to Central Visayas for marketing.

“We are dependent on other regions…we get rice from Iloilo and we get some of our meat products from Mindanao. However, we get enough supply because we (Central Visayas) have a big role in marketing the products.” – Department of Agriculture (DA) 7 Technical Director for Research and Regulations Joel Elumba

DA 7 continues to encourage the public to shift to other food staples like corn, camote, cassava and oats.

Other top Cebu News stories:

Sun.Star Cebu: Cop’s son caught carrying P400T worth of illegal drugs
The Freeman: Cebu City faces looming crisis on garbage disposal
Cebu Daily News: ‘Blunt force’ used on girl

Cebu Business headlines:

Sun.Star Cebu: Special rates for homegrown brands sought
The Freeman: CV registers P1.4B investments for Q1