House panel wants MMDA to take over metro bus system project
Some lawmakers want the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to takeover the proposed bus rapid transport (BRT) system project in the metropolis after the Department of Transportation (DOTr) shelved the project.
At the House committee on Metro Manila Development hearing into the BRT project on Wednesday, DOTr Asec. Arturo Fabillar said the program has been placed in the back burner and “subject to further studies.”
But Fabillar cannot explain the exact reason behind the agency’s withdrawal of the project. He just cited that there is an internal evaluation or study made which became the basis for the decision.
Committee chair Rep. Winston Castelo lamented this.
“You’re asking the public to suffer for the reason we don’t know… You have requested funding from Congress, only to reverse your decision after so many years,” Castelo said.
The House panel requested a copy of the evaluation but Marikina City Rep. Bayani Fernando suggested that the project be transferred to the MMDA.
“I move that we put to task the MMDA to improve on or continue with the organized bus route with the corresponding financial support they may need to perfect the system,” said Fernando, former MMDA chairman and now Marikina representative.
Castelo supported this motion saying: “We’d like to reiterate the motion of Rep. Bayani for MMDA to continue the BRT with some variations.”
The committee chair also asked Department of Finance Asec. Maria Edita Tan if the P37.76 billion fund for BRT EDSA line, and P5.47 billion for the BRT España-Quezon Avenue Line can be transferred from the DOTr to the MMDA.
Tan said this process would still undergo a lot of paperwork including the approval of the National Economic and Development Authority Investment Coordination Committee (NEDA-ICC). /jpv