MANILA - The Department of Transportation will push through with the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project in Cebu despite a 5-year delay pointed out in a budget hearing, DOTr Sec. Arthur Tugade said Monday.
Sen. Nancy Binay last week criticized the department for failing to start the BRT projects in Metro Manila and Cebu half a decade since the country borrowed millions of dollars from the World Bank to create special lanes meant to decongest traffic.
The Metro Manila project was halted in 2018 due to right of way issues.
"Tuloy ma’am," he said when asked if the government is pushing through with the Cebu project. "The first phase of procurement for Phase 1 will already be started by the end of this year."
"We feel it should be continued for the sake not only of the Cebuanos, but all over Visayas and Mindanao," Tugade told ANC's Headstart.
The World Bank in 2014 approved the Philippines' loan for the Cebu BRT Project, estimated to cost up to $228.50 million (P11 billion), according to its website. The closing date agreed upon is June 30, 2021.
In the budget hearing last week, DOTr Assistant Secretary for Road Transport and Infrastructure Mark Steven Pastor told senators the World Bank is amenable for an extension.
The World Bank has not yet released the full amount, said Tugade, but the Philippines is paying commitment fees and interest, he said.