ON HER 65th birthday on Monday, Oct. 12, 2020, Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia said she was aiming for a better normal for Cebu Province, not just a new normal amid the public health crisis caused by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
Garcia and other government officials led the opening of the new space for the Cebu North Bus Terminal (CNBT) on the grounds of SM City Cebu in Barangay Mabolo, Cebu City.
The opening of the bus terminal is seen as part of the efforts to revitalize the economy hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic.
This will open opportunities for Cebuanos and tourists to travel to and experience the beautiful destinations in northern Cebu.
SM Prime Holdings Inc. granted the use of the SM City Cebu grounds for free.
Carmen Quijano, manager of the Cebu South Bus Terminal, said they are tasked to man the new CNBT where they will also impose strict minimum health protocol.
Quijano said they are yet to implement the “no ticket, no entry” policy in the CNBT as they still have to observe the volume of passengers at the temporary terminal.
They expect an estimated 3,500 to 4,000 passengers each day.
The management and bus operators still need to meet for the formulation of additional protocol to be imposed on the official opening on Oct. 15.
In 2019, Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes sent a letter to Cebu City Mayor Edgar Labella on his disinterest in the renewal of the CNBT contract, which was supposed to expire in October 2020.
With the health crisis and imposed community quarantine, the contract of the terminal was terminated before the expiry date.
The CNBT was temporarily transferred to Sta. Lucia Square, Consolacion, then to Tambayan, Consolacion, before it was transferred to the SM City Cebu grounds.
Cortes planned to build a police station, fire station, evacuation center and barangay hall for Barangay Subangdaku on the former CNBT lot as one of his projects for this year.
Due to the pandemic, the project was postponed and the area was turned into an isolation center for symptomatic Covid-19 patients.
He said the isolation center at the former CNBT has had its finishing touches and will accept patients by next week. (ANV, KFD)