Cebu congressman backs Udenna’s bid for monorail project to address ‘traffic crisis’

Ryan Macasero
Cebu congressman backs Udenna’s bid for monorail project to address ‘traffic crisis’
Cebu 1st District Representative wants NEDA to expedite the review of Udenna Corp's proposed monorail project

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Cebu 1st District Representative Eduardo Gullas said Metro Cebu risks “economic gridlock” if it does not build a commuter train system soon.

“Metro Cebu needed a passenger train system 20 years ago. That is how far behind we are now,” Gullas said in a recent press statement.

Cebu’s provincial government declared a traffic crisis in October due to the worsening congestion, particularly in Metro Cebu. 

Cebu provincial board member Glenn Soco cited a study then saying the economic losses in Cebu amount to about P1.1 billion daily in 2019, up from P500 million 3 years prior.

To address this, Gullas is backing the unsolicited proposal of Dennis Uy’s Udenna Corporation to build a P78.9-billion monorail transit system.

“If nobody wants to build a Light Rail Transit (LRT) system for Metro Cebu, as we first proposed way back in 1996, then by all means let us have Udenna’s monorail,” Gullas said.

Gullas is counting on the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) to expedite its review of Udenna’s offer.

The monorail project is also backed by Cebu City Mayor Edgar Labella, who prefers an intermodal transportation system. The intermodal system, in addition to the monorail, is supplemented by a bus rapid transit system and jeepney feeders.

COMMUTERS. LGU-run buses were introduced in Cebu City in 2018. Photo by Gelo Litonjua/Rappler

Metro Cebu has a population of over 2.8 million people and is almost double the area of Metro Manila, but has no mass transportation systems aside from private buses, jeeps, taxis and motorcycle taxis called habal habal

Private companies like SM and Robinsons, however, have introduced point-to-point (P2P) buses between commercial establishments and landmarks to help reduce vehicular traffic. 

The Cebu City government also started its own P2P service called Beep, which has designated stops across the city. 

Uy, the chairman and CEO of Udenna Corp, is originally from Davao City and is a known friend of President Rodrigo Duterte. His proposal includes a 17-kilometer central line from Talisay City in the south to Cebu City and another 9-kilometer line from the Mactan Cebu International Airport to Cebu City.

Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Lloyd Dino previously opposed the BRT in favor of an LRT until earlier this year. He now backs the intermodal plan and the proposal of Uy’s monorail. – Rappler.com

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Ryan Macasero

Ryan covers social welfare for Rappler. He started at Rappler as social media producer in 2013, and later took on various roles for the company: editor for the #BalikBayan section, correspondent in Cebu, and general assignments reporter in the Visayas region. He graduated from California State University, East Bay, with a degree in international studies and a minor in political science. Outside of work, Ryan performs spoken word poetry and loves attending local music gigs. Follow him on Twitter @ryanmacasero or drop him leads for stories at ryan.macasero@rappler.com