By Minerva Newman
CEBU CITY – The Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV) wants a modern transportation system built in Cebu.
Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Dino in his message during the party celebrating the victory of Governor Gwen Garcia and
Mayor Edgar Labella, that Cebu has been longing for infrastructure projects to keep pace with its growth and development.
Dino said for the last 30 years the provincial leadership had failed to deliver what Cebu City really needed. In the 80s, he said Cebu was on equal footing with Fujian province in China in terms of development, resources, and economy.
“If we compare both provinces now, the disparity is really quite obvious. We got left behind. While they now have 2,000 kilometers of rail,
Cebu is still at zero and while they have developed an effective urban planning system and socialized housing, we are still facing basic problems up until today and with a growing number of informal settlers in our midst,” Dino said.
In the next three years, Cebu’s landscape is expected to transform as OPAV pushes for the urban realm development to modernize the Cebuanos’ mobility.
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) and Dino met last week with the different government agencies to discuss and get updates on Integrated International Transport System (IITS) for Metro Cebu.
DOTr wants a monorail to be the backbone of the IITS. It will also build bike lanes, intermodal terminals, park and drive facilities, and walkways.
DOTr Undersecretary Mark Richmond de Leon said in his presentation the agency is looking at different approaches in decongesting traffic in Metro Cebu.
“To address traffic congestion as we all know there is no single bullet for this problem of congestion, it should be a basket of solutions,” de Leon said.
Dino met with officials from DOTr including its consultant from the EGIS Group. Also at the meeting was Assistant Secretary for rails Eymard Eje who shared his inputs based on his experience from the upcoming Mindanao Railway Project.
DOTr, the lead agency for implementing IITS, is working with the proponent of the monorail with the capacity of LRT in Cebu.
Dino also mentioned some of the projects that are in the pipeline, including building about 100,000 units of socialized housing for Cebu in the next three years.
OPAV is also closely working to build dams in Cebu to address the recurring water crisis.
Dino said this is a two-pronged project that will address water shortage and flooding.