WB exec says Cebu City’s BRT project to consider social, environmental concerns

September 4, 2014 7:00 am 

By Eddie O. Barrita

CEBU CITY, Sept. 3 (PNA) — An official of the World Bank (WB) has assured the detailed engineering design of the P10.6-billion Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project will take into consideration social and environmental issues.

Michel Kerf, the WB’s transport and information and communication technology (ICT) practice manager for East Asia and the Pacific, said heritage areas will be protected in the implementation of the project.

Kerf said the detailed engineering design will also identify how the project would affect historical sites and trees along the planned BRT route.

Earlier reports said some 2,000 trees along the route of Cebu BRT system may be affected in the implementation of the project.

The Fuente Osmeña Circle, a historical site, will also be affected.

“We will try to optimize the design of the project so as to maximize its benefits, and minimize its negative impact,” Kerf said.

The Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) is expected to award the detailed engineering design contract within the year.

The detailed engineering design, which will identify and quantify all the essential works needed for the implementation of the BRT and of the transport and procurement for construction services, will last eight months while the actual project implementation will take at least two years to finish.

Kerf said the detailed engineering design will take at least six months to a year.

“This is why the next stage is very important because it is during this stage that the detailed design would be perused, that all issues will be looked into,” Kerf said.

He said it is a priority to implement the project while taking into consideration the lessons learned from other BRT systems in other parts of the world to avoid lapses.

The World Bank vowed to lend the Philippine Government USD116 million for the project which is expected to be operational by 2017.

The 23-kilometers BRT corridor will run from Barangay Bulacao in the southwestern end of the city to Barangay Talamban in the north and will have 31 passenger interchange terminals. (PNA)

CTB/EB/

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