Start of Cebu Bus Rapid Transit project expected within 2 months

·3 min read

THE construction of Package 1 of the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project is expected to begin within the first 100 days of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s administration.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is currently reviewing the documents of three bidders for the project, the Cebu City Public Information Office said Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022.

Package 1 includes Osmeña Blvd., from the Cebu Provincial Capitol and going right to the Cebu South Bus Terminal (CSBT) along N. Bacalso Ave.

Engineer Roberto Varquez, BRT focal person for Cebu City, said they are waiting for the report from the special bids and awards committee of DOTr.

According to Varquez, DOTr Secretary Jaime Bautista wanted the project to be awarded to the winning bidder within the first 100 days of the administration of Marcos Jr.

Marcos Jr. took office on June 30, 2022.

In his first State of the Nation Address last July 25, Marcos Jr. mentioned the implementation of the BRT and the construction of a railway system in Cebu as priorities.

Bidders

The bidding for Package 1 of the project, which costs about P1 billion, started in May 2022.

Five interested contractors joined the bidding, but two were declared unqualified based on their documents.

Once the notice to proceed will be given to the winning bidder, civil works for the project will immediately be implemented, Varquez said.

This will include the construction of four bus stations that will be located in the Cebu South Bus Terminal, Cebu Normal University, Fuente Osmeña and the Cebu Provincial Capitol.

Last June, a total of 228 trees were earth-balled along the route of Package 1 of the project.

BRT project officials said the earth-balling of trees located in the center island was necessary since the dedicated lanes for the buses will be placed there.

The project implementation unit (PIU) of the Cebu BRT has also started its initial preparatory activities for the project’s Package 2.

Package 2 of the BRT is composed of the routes from the South Road Properties (SRP) to the CSBT and another route from Capitol to the Cebu IT Park in Barangay Lahug.

Package 3 will include the routes from Talisay City to Barangay Mambaling, Talisay City to SRP, and Cebu IT Park to Barangay Talamban.

Engineer Roteza Cantillas of the BRT’s PIU said they have started doing public consultations with informal settlers and businesses that will be affected by the implementation of Package 2.

Unlike Package 1, Package 2 will involve road widening and acquisition of properties.

Cantillas said 57 families will be affected and they will be relocated to a medium-rise building which will be constructed by the National Housing Authority.

The Cebu BRT project is funded by the French government through Agence Française de Développement (Euro 50.89 million); the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development ($116 million), the lending arm of the World Bank Group; the Clean Technology Fund ($25 million) administered by the World Bank; and counterpart financing from the Government of the Philippines (US$30 million), according to a World Bank report on the project.

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