Train, skyway will solve Cebu City’s traffic woes — Duterte
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Noting the “horrendous” traffic in Cebu City, President Rodrigo Duterte has vowed to help local officials secure a loan for a modern train system and elevated highways to ease road congestion here.
“Cebu cannot expand anymore because it is an old city. The only way to address traffic here is to have a train or an elevated structure. That is how I see it,” the President, speaking in Cebuano, said in a speech at the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC) during the Sinulog Festival on Sunday.
“The only way to do it is through a small commuter train and highways. I will help you secure a loan for your projects,” Duterte said. “It will come to that if you really need more money. But the loan would come from China and… America can’t give us anything apart from arms.”
Duterte expressed his intention to “overhaul everything” since politicians who have their own ideas about improving traffic congestion might just end up fighting over whose idea is best.
“Many politicians here have their own ideas. So I will tell you now that I will overhaul everything because if I do not interfere, you will just keep on fighting. So I will work on this. I will look for money. That is my promise,” the President added.
The Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV) on Monday welcomed Duterte’s promise to look for funds to establish a commuter train system in Cebu.
“We’ve been pushing for it. Now that the President has made a statement, we’re hoping that it will be given priority,” OPAV spokesperson Titus Borromeo told the Inquirer.
Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Dino said the announcement “boosts our morale,” knowing that the President agreed and encouraged the creation of the Integrated Intermodal Transport System in Metro Cebu.
For generations to come
“There is really no other way to solve traffic here but to go up and that is to build a monorail with the capacity of a light rail transit,” he said in a statement.
“We need an honest-to-goodness mass transport system that will be relevant for generations to come. For without it, Cebu’s development will not be sustained,” Dino said.
The President led the inauguration of Mactan Cebu International Airport Terminal 1 on Sunday afternoon before he proceeded to the CCSC to watch the Sinulog Grand Parade, which culminated the 10-day festivities in honor of the Sto. Niño.
Mr. Duterte arrived at the sports center at 6:30 p.m. and watched a couple of dan¬cing contingents before he addressed the crowd of about 6,000.—Reports from Ador Vincent Mayor and Julie M. Aurelio
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