QC Councilor Castillo quizzes DOTr on budgeted BRT project

Published August 15, 2019, 11:35 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

By Chito Chavez

Quezon City Councilor Winston “Winnie” Castelo has questioned the Department of Transportation (DOTr) for shelving the proposed Metro Manila Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) projects despite being allocated with funds during the 17th Congress.

Rep. Winston Castelo (Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)
Rep. Winston Castelo

A former Rep. of the city’s second district Castelo, who used to chair the House Committee on Metro Manila Development, recounted that the previous Congress has approved the allocation of budget for two BRT projects, Line 1 (Manila City Hall to Philcoa along Quezon Avenue) and Line 2 (along EDSA with links to BGC, Ortigas Center, Ayala Avenue, and Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue).

But Castelo said the proposed BRT projects were placed on hold by DOTr, though the “reasons behind the deferment and delays remain mysterious’’.

He added the Department of Finance (DOF) and the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Board already approved the proposed BRT projects saying there is no more reason why BRT should not be implemented and push through.

Likewise, Castelo said the proposed BRT projects are cheaper, faster to construct, and will entail minimal traffic during its construction. Commuters will be able to benefit within three years.

“Implementing BRT along major corridors in Metro Manila, especially in chronically congested roads, will help to resolve the unbearable and arduous problem of traffic congestion in different areas in Metro Manila which remains unabated, despite many schemes coined by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to finally solve the endemic problem,’’ Castelo said.

“We regret this has happened because the last Congress fought hard for the budget of BRT but unfortunately despite the effort, it will only be disregarded, DOTr should explain why did they defer the implementation of this project,” he added.

He noted the issue of BRT is being brought up now because of the horrendous traffic in Metro Manila specifically in EDSA despite of many experiments that were being utilized to mitigate the tremendous traffic congestion.

Castelo added that it was the hapless riding public who is the one suffering in this traffic problem, saying it’s really high time that BRT should push through to finally ease down the traffic.