Cebu City may get P1B in infra-A A +A
Saturday, April 26, 2014
CEBU City will get at least P1 billion worth of infrastructure projects from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in preparation for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit meetings next year.
The projects include P356 million worth of road concreting projects in Barangays San Roque, Kamputhaw, Carreta, T. Padilla, Kalubihan, Lahug, Punta Princesa and Tinago.
City Mayor Michael Rama said Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson advised him about the projects during a meeting last Wednesday afternoon.
Rama told reporters during his regular news conference that the budget for the road projects has been approved and is part of the convergence program of the DPWH and the Department of Tourism (DOT).
The other projects are related to improving the traffic management system in Cebu City, the mayor said.
The news was welcomed by City Traffic Operations Management (Citom) Board Chairman Ruben Almendras and Citom Executive Director Rafael Christopher Yap.
“Secretary Singson said DPWH is willing to help the City and he was very clear and serious about it. He has the capacity to produce the money and the traffic system is also in line with matters on infrastructure,” Rama said.
But the mayor said the DPWH still has to look for funds for the traffic projects, which are estimated to cost about P830 million.
The traffic management-related projects were proposed by Citom and include upgrading of traffic light signals, widening intersections, and designating loading and unloading bays for public utility vehicles.
The Cebu City uses the Sydney Coordinated Adaptive traffic System (SCATS) traffic light system, which was installed in the early 1990s yet.
In its proposal to DPWH, Citom stressed the need to upgrade the system and the facilities, especially since some parts have been phased out by the SCATS manufacturer.
Intersections proposed for widening include Salinas Drive, F. Sotto St., Juan Luna Ave., M.L. Quezon Ave., M. Gaisano St., M.J. Cuenco Ave. and Gen. Maxilom Ave.
Ambassador Ma. Angelina Sta. Catalina, Apec's deputy director general for conference services, earlier said Cebu may host four to six minor meetings during the Apec Summit in 2015.
She visited Rama two months ago.
Rama said he also discussed with Singson his plan to widen local roads that are used as national roads or have heavy traffic. These include the road from Banilad to Talamban and Pit-os, which connects to mountain barangays.
He also told the DPWH chief of his plan to widen the sidewalk on S. Osmeña Blvd., a portion of which is being rehabilitated by the public works department.
Rama said he considers these road projects priority strategies to decongest traffic.
Widening of the sidewalk is also meant to ensure the safety of pedestrians, he added.
With Singson’s approval, Rama hopes that the project would be implemented soon in time for the Apec and other major activities in the city.
Cebu City will be the venue for the International Eucharistic Congress in 2016.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 27, 2014.