BRT plan finally approved

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Saturday, May 31, 2014

JANET Napoles is back to her detention cell inside a military camp. Good.

Let her stay there until all the cases against her are resolved one way or the other. If she is convicted, she should be sent to Muntinlupa or to any of our penal colonies. If she is acquitted, she goes out of jail free.

The Senate should not bother to summon Napoles anymore. Transporting her will be expensive and given her record of lying to the Senate the first time she testified there, the government will only be throwing good money after bad in spending for her trip. To think that Bureau of Internal Revenue’s (BIR) Kim Henares is at her wits’ end trying to meet her revenue targets.


Napoles’s stay inside the camp where visits are regulated should give her enough time for reflection. Her lying to the Senate and the emergence of so many Napolists have badly destroyed her credibility and have all but eliminated whatever chances she had of becoming a state witness.

If, after reflection, she should decide to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but, Napoles should not call her lawyer or her husband or Secretary Leila de Lima anymore. She should ask for Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle to hear her confession. Then and only then will she be believed again.


Finally, we have an approved plan for a mass transport system. President Aquino, acting upon the favorable recommendation of the National Economic and Development Authority, has given the go-signal to the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system. Goodbye, jeepney. See you in the feeder routes.

There couldn’t be anyone prouder about this development than former Cebu City mayor Tommy Osmeña. He was the one who pushed for the BRT as a long-term solution to our traffic woes, a fact that he was not shy to point out in a text message he sent the other day.

"I started reading about it in 1990,” he said. "Went to Curitiba, Brazil in 1995. Now the whole world has adapted what is now known as the BRT. We could have been the first to use it in the entire Asia and the Pacific region over 20 years ago. And it will take another five years to make it operational."
"But I still have my reason to celebrate. The seed I planted sprouted. You know what it feels like to see a dream come true? This is it!"

Five years is quite a long time. In between, so many things can happen but none I hope that would again set back the plan to build the BRT. There are some major concerns that will have to be addressed, including and most especially how to appease the jeepney drivers and operators, many of whom will be driven out of business by the BRT.
It will take political will to insist on doing something that is good but is hugely unpopular to a group whose membership could spell the difference between win or loss in an election. I trust that our leaders are sensible and strong enough to do the right thing, whatever the cost.


Months have passed since the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) awarded the contract to construct and operate a modern Mactan Cebu International Airport to the GMR-Megawide consortium but until now nobody has bothered to inform the public how much will a modern terminal cost their pockets.

They owe it to us before they even hammer the first nail in the terminal building to explain what are the charges that we will be paying for the privilege of having a modern airport.

Will the terminal fee be increased for example?

Will there be any other fees that will be imposed?

I hope that the DOTC, if not the consortium itself, will provide the answers within the next few weeks.



Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 01, 2014.


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