City eyes test drive for bus sys­tem

Sun.Star Davao - - TOP STORIES -

DAVAO City Mayor Sara Z. Duterte-Car­pio said that they are eyeing for a test drive for the Higly Pri­or­i­tized Bus Sys­tem (HPBS) within this year or early next year.

"We can­not af­ford the whole routes, but for peo­ple to see what will hap­pen with the project and also to test the project we will try to run HPBS in one route," she said in an in­ter­view last Mon­day af­ter­noon.

She added they are still in talks with how many buses will be al­lowed to run.

As to who will fi­nance the bus, she also said that the city gov­ern­ment will not fund it, and she had sug­gested that it will be funded by a gov­ern­ment owned and con­trolled cor­po­ra­tion (GOCC).

Duterte-Car­pio in a sep­a­rate in­ter­view yes­ter­day af­ter Datu Bago awards yes­ter­day men­tioned that she is los­ing pa­tience with the HPBS project now un­der Asian De­vel­op­ment Bank (ABD) for de­sign stage as it is tak­ing too long.

"It is tak­ing too long and I al­ready said that it will hap­pen, and when I said that I put my honor at stake, if this project will not hap­pen, it would cost me my honor, and that is why I told them to vig­or­ously pur­sue the project," she said.

She added that the de­lay­ing fac­tor is not the ADB, but the na­tional gov­ern­ment agen­cies, but they are do­ing their best to patch things up.

She said that the time ta­ble is be­yond 2019, and she al­ready told the agen­cies con­cerned that if it can­not be done by 2019, atleast show them what will hap­pen be­yond 2019.

Davao City As­sis­tant City Ad­min­is­tra­tor lawyer Tris­tan Dwight Domingo, in a me­dia in­ter­view last MOn­day said the city gov­ern­ment of Davao is now part­ner­ing with the De­part­ment of Trans­porta­tion (DOTr) to show Dabawenyos a glimpse of the HPBS by hav­ing sim­i­lar look­ing

buses ply along the ma­jor roads in the city be­fore the month of June.

"Hope­fully it will be ply in our ma­jor routes, routes which have short­age for trans­port due to in­creas­ing pop­u­la­tion," Domingo said.

He said they will check which routes will be as­signed with buses.

As to pos­si­ble ob­jec­tions on the HPBS project, Domingo as­sured that the city, DOTr, and Asian De­vel­op­ment Bank is very metic­u­lous in try­ing to come up with fair in­ter­ven­tions and so­cial de­vel­op­ment pack­ages for those who will be dis­placed by the HPBS project.

He said that in the trans­porta­tion sec­tor, the opin­ions of driver and op­er­a­tors were al­ways heard but sel­dom the com­fort of pas­sen­gers.

"These are the things that we need to con­sider," he added.

He said they have sup­port­ing the data that pas­sen­gers seek change in the way they travel each day.

Domingo said ADB is com­ing up with the com­pu­ta­tion and all other tech­ni­cal as­pects of HPBS in the city. These will in­clude where the money will be coursed, be it on na­tional agen­cies for in­fra­struc­ture con­struc­tion and the like.

"All the nitty gritty things now will be put into writ­ing. Ev­ery­body, na­tional and city of­fices will be in­cluded and will be cru­cial for the doc­u­men­ta­tion and the project de­sign," he said.

Domingo said that the bud­get is among the things that the ADB will come up based on their stud­ies.

He added that ADB will de­ter­mine the com­po­nents that may not need bud­get be­cause they can uti­lize the ex­ist­ing gov­ern­ment project for the pur­pose.

"For ex­am­ple we have driv­ers and oper­a­tions which will be af­fected and we have ex­ist­ing pro­grams in Tech­ni­cal Ed­u­ca­tion Skills and De­vel­op­ment Agency (Tesda) or De­part­ment of So­cial Wel­fare and De­vel­op­ment (DSWD)…the pro­grams ex­ist­ing na­tion­wide will be looked into as it may help in the com­pu­ta­tions for the loan," he said.

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