The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board on Tuesday approved five big-ticket infrastructure projects, including the the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project in Cebu.
Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the BRT proposal was among the 10 projects approved by Neda Board during a meeting presided over by Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia.
Abella said the projects were approved sans the presence of President Rodrigo Duterte, who is the chairperson of Neda Board.
“The Neda Board approved the confirmation of the ICC-CC (Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee) approval of the increase in cost of the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit,” Abella said shortly after the conduct of the meeting.
“In the absence of the President, the Neda Secretary (Pernia), as Neda Board vice chair, presided over the Neda Board meeting. Today’s meeting was approved and authorized by the President, due to other concerns that came about today, allowing vice chair to proceed, and with quorum established despite work suspension,” he added.
On August 11, the Neda ICC-CabCom approved the Cebu BRT project. The BRT’s project cost has ballooned to P16.9 billion from P10.6 billion approved by the Neda Board in 2014 because of a new road-right-of-way acquisition policy, which requires the government to offer market values for affected properties.
The project is envisioned to be a 23-kilometer BRT corridor (Bulacao-Ayala-Talamban) with segregated busways from Bulacao to Ayala and a link to Cebu’s South Road Property.