Governor-elect Gwen Garcia, Secretary Michael Lloyd Dino and Cebu City Mayor-elect Edgar Labella during the Unity and Solidarity meeting at Tsay Cheng Chinese restaurant in Archbishop Reyes Avenue. (photos by Allan Defensor)

CEBU CITY, Philippines- The Light Rail Transit (LRT) system for Cebu is real, so said Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Sec. Michael Lloyd Dino in his address to the unity and solidarity meeting of Governor-elect Gwendolyn Garcia and Cebu City Mayor-elect Edgardo Labella today in Tsay Cheng Chinese restaurant here. “It will really happen.

This is not just talk, atong main backbone, main artery nato should be LRT, that is the real mass transport system that we need,” Dino, also the Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security (CORDS) for Central Visayas said. Both Garcia and Labella are supportive of the project but Garcia suggested that the project should expand beyond what is originally planned. “Such integrated intermodal traffic transport system must also take into consideration the other LGU’s (local government units) beyond Cebu City.

These are, in fact, that feeds the traffic that we are experiencing,” Garcia said. OPAV Assistant Secretary Anthony Gerard “Jonji” Gonzales explained the LRT will be the main backbone of the Cebu Integrated Intermodal Transportation System (CIITS) which will cover Carcar City in the south and Danao City in the north. Sec. Dino said that if realized, the LRT will go straight to the Mactan Cebu International Airport as it will have an LRT station within the airport terminal.

According to Dino, Pres. Rodrigo Duterte is committed to develop Cebu, refocusing its infrastructure projects in the region. “As I promised, President Rodrigo Duterte wants to refocus infrastructure projects. Instead of always in Luzon, he wants to refocus diri na sa Visayas specifically Cebu.”

For Gonzales, since Garcia and Labella are allies in PDP-Laban, the next three years will be phenomenal to Cebu. “Now that the national leadership and political alignment in the Province of Cebu and Cebu City are one, with the backing of our dear President Duterte, I can definitely say that the next three years for the entire Cebu and its people, will be phenomenal.” Other than the CIITS, OPAV according to Gonzales, is set to build 100, 000 units for socialized housing and will construct dams to address the water supply problem.

Both Garcia and Labella are also committed to finally end the impasse on the fate of Cebu City residents that are living in the province-owned lots and will also act on the issue of garbage disposal by having landfill and waste to energy projects in the province.

Also present in meeting were Cebu Province 3rd district Congressman elect Pablo John Garcia and 4th district Congresswoman elect Janice Zamora-Salimbangon and a majority of the incoming members of the Cebu Provincial Board. Vice Mayor-elect Michael Rama led the members of the incoming Cebu City council who were present, among them former PBA star Donaldo “Dondon” Hontiveros, ex-Congressman Antonio Cuenco, Philip Zafra, among others. /Tonton Alcos Antogop