Back to Top


SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau



06 June 2018 09:43:26 PM

Deliberations by the House committee on Metro Manila development on Wednesday revealed that the Department of Transportation (DOTr) has allegedly withdrawn efforts to establish the multi-million Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system project in Metro Manila. The discussion was intended to apprise the committee on the status of the project. Committee chairman Rep. Winston Castelo noted that Congress approved funding for the project as it was presented by the DOTr as a cost-effective and immediate solution to the Metro Manila traffic crisis. Initial plans slated BRT lines for Quezon Avenue, EDSA, and C-5. However, Department of Finance (DOF) Undersecretary Edita Tan said that a letter dated December 7, 2017 from DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade to National Economic Development Agency (NEDA) Director-General Ernesto Pernia mentioned the DOTr was withdrawing the project. NEDA OIC-Director Hazel Iris Baliatan further said that the DOTr affirmed in a letter dated May 28, 2018 the department's support for a rail project covering the same alignment with the BRT system. The assertions run contrary to the knowledge of the panel that the BRT system was awaiting implementation, and to statements by DOTr Assistant Secretary Arnulfo Fabillar during the meeting that the DOTr was awaiting the recommendation of NEDA. Rep. Bayani Fernando, who formerly served as Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman, said that a similar bus transit system was already in implementation before he left the MMDA. He lamented that it was not improved or continued by transportation authorities with the BRT. Castelo suggested that the project be transferred under the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) instead. (CMB Engracia/P. Camero)