ASEC. ARCENA: Pilipinas, nitong mga nakaraang linggo dito sa Cabinet Report, pinag-usapan natin ang ilang proyekto ng DPWH para mapagaan at mapabilis ang daloy ng trapiko sa ilan sa mga malalaking lungsod ng ating bansa. Kaya marami sa mga proyekto ng DPWH ay bypasses at mga tulay.
Ngayong linggo, ang pag-uusapan naman natin ay ibang solusyon naman sa problema ng traffic at pagbibiyahe, at ito po ay kakaibang pananaw sa paggamit ng kinasanayan nating mga bus.
Sa ilang bahagi ng bansa, binago na nila ang pag-iisip tungkol sa paggamit nga ng bus. Tingnan natin ang mga ginagawa at gagawin pa sa Quezon City, sa Cebu at sa Davao.
Bus to the Future – mga bagong bus system sa ating bansa ang ating pag-uusapan ngayon. Ako po si JV Arcena, ang pansamantalang humahalili kay Secretary Martin Andanar; welcome to the Cabinet Report.
Welcome back to the Cabinet Report. Sa maraming bansa sa buong mundo, sikat at subok na ang sistemang Bus Rapid Transit o BRT. Isipin mo, isipin ninyo mga kaibigan na ginawa hong parang tren ang mga bus, magkasunod at nakapila na dumadaan sa kalye at isang lane lang ang dinadaluyan tulad nga talaga ng tren.
ASEC. ARCENA: Inaabangan na sa Cebu ang pagdating ng sistemang BRT doon.
ASEC. GONZALES: We need to educate the users on how to use the BRT while we are building the BRT ‘no. BRT is the Bus Rapid Transit and the objective of the BRT is to improve the overall performance of the urban passenger transport system in Cebu City in terms of the quality and level of services, safety and environmental efficiency.
ASEC. ARCENA: Bilang paghahanda, ipinatupad na ang Cebu Interim Bus Service o CIBus nang masimulan nang masanay ang mga commuter doon sa konsepto ng ruta na inaabangang Cebu BRT.
ASEC. GONZALES: The Cebu Interim Bus Service or commonly known as CIBus is a precursor public transport service that mimic the BRT in improving connectivity and mobility in Cebu City. The said project is a component of the planned Metro Cebu Integrated Intermodal Transportation System or what we call MCIITS that seeks to integrate a monorail system, a cable car system, BRT to provide efficient public land transportation and answer the problem on traffic congestion in Metro Cebu.
The Cebu BRT system will operate along both a dedicated transit way and in mixed traffic segments and the project corridor is about 23-kilometer long from Bulacao to Talamban including SRP or the South Road Properties. The first CIBus route is from Fuente Osmeña down to SRP via North Bacalso Avenue and vice versa. But it had been extended its service last September 9, last year, from IT Park to SRP. There are 20 low floor, low entry bus units operated by Bacolod-based Vallacar Transit known as Ceres.
LTFRB-7 INFORMATION OFFICER EUGENE IBO: Right now, ang kanilang charge is first 5 kilometers is P13 and P2.20 for every succeeding kilometer. I think that’s a good development to transport in the sense na ang ilahan pa sa bus are low floor, it provides safe, efficient, comfortable transport mode of service.
ASEC. GONZALES: The next big step for the Cebu BRT is the land acquisition and resettlement of the CBRT. The DPWH will play a role for the expansion of the national road and the concerned LGU for local road. Currently iyong Cebu BRT Package 1 has already surpassed the procurement stage and last February 8, it reached the publication and bid.
The CBRT or Cebu Bus Rapid Transit Package 1 will encompass 4 BRT stations from Cebu South Bus Terminal to Capitol along Osmeña Boulevard. The first package of CBRT covers 2.38 kilometers of dedicated bus lane from Cebu Bus Terminal to the Capitol area.
As for the detailed engineering design for the CBRT Package 2 covering 10.8 kilometers, there is an ongoing finalization of parcellary mapping. There are delays in consultancy and in the parcellary mapping because the team could not optimally go to the ground due to the pandemic. But the CBRT Package 2 and 3 will encompass trunk service from SRP to South Bus Terminal via North Bacalso Avenue and from Capitol to IT Park with terminals at SRP and IT Park. The feeder service that these buses run together in mixed traffic would be covering 22.1 kilometers with routes from Cebu IT Park to Talamban, from Talisay to Mambaling and from Talisay to SRP. Packages 1, 2 and 3 will also form phase 1. For phase 2, the plan is to convert feeder to trunk service.
The DOTr maintains that even if we are struck by the COVID pandemic, they remain to target partial operation of the project by December 2021 and Sec. Martin, full operation by January 2023. The partial operability according to Secretary Tugade who just came over a few weeks ago, is that CBRT Package 1 and complete service is CBRT Package 2 and 3. Once finished, the CBRT will be fielding 250 buses with at least 21 stations slated to serve around 60,000 passengers a day.
The project is being supported also by the Cebu City government, the provincial government of Cebu and Secretary Michael Lloyd Dino, our Presidential Assistant for the Visayas. You know, CIBus or iyong Cebu Interim Bus System is operated at this time of pandemic, has been really helpful to Cebuano commuters. In addition, the CIBus also ensures a more comfortable and reliable public transport service with its low floor, low entry, modern, air conditioned buses with a capacity of 37 passengers. But now with the observation of health protocols, 20 lang iyong limit. But for the Cebuanos to have a taste of a comfortable public land transport, we believe that they are looking forward for the Cebu BRT to be in full operation.
ASEC. ARCENA: At maging ang mga driver ng jeep na maaapektuhan pagdating ng Cebu BRT, pinaghahandaan na rin.
ASEC. GONZALES: We have to also help the jeepneys ‘no na they will be put in the feeder routes already and iyong mga jeepney drivers sinuportahan din ng government na ma-train iyong mga drivers and their families sa TESDA para in case na hindi na talaga sila makatakbo, they will have other form of livelihood. And TESDA is doing a very good job training not just the jeepney drivers but also their families, and this is funded by—
ASEC. ARCENA: Ang Cebu BRT ay bahagi lamang ng isang malawakang plano – ang Metro Cebu Integrated Intermodal Transport System o MCIITS.
ASEC. GONZALES: Aside from CBRT, there will be rail and there will be cable car and in fact we will also tap iyong dagat – iyong cable car will traverse from the lowland to upland ‘no. So mayroon nang cable car from lowland somewhere Lahug up to Busay ‘no, in the mountains and also iyong sea route from let’s say Naga, even as far as Carcar, puwede na ring magbarko ka hanggang Cebu City and even down to Mandaue up to let’s say Danao. There is also the monorail, iyong monorail is really from Carcar to Danao and all these is really to provide a modern transport system for Cebu.
For the longest time napabayaan si Cebu ‘no and with the Duterte administration, with the President mismo nagsabi na talagang sobra na ang traffic sa Cebu, dapat ayusin na talaga. That’s why DOTr, Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas and DPWH worked together with the rest of government para magkaroon ng intermodal transport system.
ASEC. ARCENA: Sa ating pagbalik, dalawin naman natin ang Davao para sa kanilang ‘Bus to the Future’. Tutok lang dito sa Cabinet Report.
ASEC. ARCENA: Welcome back to the Cabinet Report. Sa Davao, iba naman po ang kanilang approach sa paggamit sa bus at ito’y tinatawag nilang High Priority Bus System.
ASST. CITY ADMINISTRATOR TRISTAN DWIGHT DOMINGO: In the beginning, everything was considered ‘no from doing subways, doing MRTs, doing LRTs, doing different kinds of train systems, doing different kinds of bus systems, doing a simple modernization of the existing PUJ industry here in the country or here in the city so all of which were considered for the city’s future. But ultimately based on the demands and based on the realizations of the actual roads that we have, the demand—the projections for passenger demand and the development of the city, ultimately the main recommendation was to have a bus system.
And it’s basically a similar thing like the most common or the quite common bus system being considered now in most countries, even in Cebu, the Bus Rapid Transit. So it’s a similar scheme but there is just certain differences so, but overall it’s still a bus system. So in general, the bus system that is envisioned for the city is basically it’s a working as a single unit, all routes will be interconnected. So gone are the days hopefully that with what we have right now na the jeepneys, all of our jeepneys are practically going inside the city. So with rationalization of the routes, so the city is properly divided ‘no.
So it does not mean or it will not have an effect wherein all buses will be going to the city because management-wise, traffic-wise, that’s a huge problem eh. So certain bus routes will terminate [unclear] or in certain turnaround points around the city. That way, based on the demands on the city center, iyong amount of buses really necessary for the city center; that will be the only buses running through inside the city.
So unlike the previous transportation schemes natin ‘no, it’s not only here in the city but I do think even in Metro Manila or where we have jeepneys, it’s ano eh, medyo there is no proper planning in terms of developing or how to rationalize these routes. So in the city, in the future under this project, we’ll have 29 routes. So we do think for the next few years, those routes will be enough to serve the majority or almost all of the people who would be required to travel, be it for leisure or be it for work or for education or for whatever purpose.
I think right now, we’re looking at a minimum thousand buses. The biggest buses that we may have would be articulated buses. So it’s basically like 2 buses joined into one or hinihila iyong isang unit sa likod then this will be spread out in the city. So our consultants right now planning this with us have already identified at least a thousand na mga bus stops ‘no. So the bus stops that we will have hopefully we can accommodate the bus stops which has sheds ‘no or waiting sheds for passengers; but not all ‘no because we have to accept the fact also that our city was not really planned to have this buses way back 1950’s or 1900’s ‘no. So we have to adjust and work with the realization or realistic scenarios on the ground.
So although we are looking also into buying certain properties which are really necessary to make the operations efficient, the bus project here in the city also has this plan to developed at least 6 big sites ‘no – 3 of which has a terminal. So these 3 locations incidentally is located at medyo doon na sa periphery ng city. So it’s good also for us traffic-wise ‘no, that way iyong mga provincial buses going into the city will no longer go inside the city. So they’ll stop there in that particular intermodal exchange or terminal, then only the buses—the city buses or the High Priority Bus System buses namin or ng city would be seen inside the city.
So that also eases the burden in terms of the load sa mga roads namin dito considering that the 29 routes have already been initially looked into or studied—previous study, so it would be now packaged ‘no accordingly. So if the project would recommend for only a single operator for the entire bus system here, that would be—maybe the best case scenario.
ASEC. ARCENA: Tulad ng Cebu, may isang serbisyo na rin sila bilang paghahanda sa inaasahang pagdating ng High Priority Bus System sa 2023 at ito ay ang Davao Interim Bus Service o DIBS.
ASST. CITY ADMINISTRATOR DOMINGO: Just to put it in perspective, we have people working in the northern side of the city but they live at the southern side in the city. Previously when they ride public utility jeepneys, siyempre ito iyong mass workforce natin, the people who are rank-and-file employees or working in factories, working in—hindi naman ito iyong mga executives na they have their private vehicles.
So previously because they rely heavily on public transport, so they use the public transport and since all our public transport practically goes inside the city, they still need to go to the city, inside the city before they ultimately pass through inside the city and reach the other side of the city.
So right now, the one that has recently opened up, iyong sa interim service namin is it bypasses the center of the city. So it’s like traversing in a diversion road which we call here in the city ‘no. So ‘andoon siya. So all they need to do is just ride that and they’re already in the other side of the city.
And right now, we had already started negotiations because High Priority Bus System is coming. So we already start negotiating na with a lot of the jeepney operators. So luckily for us, we also have a particular route na there are at least 60 of jeeps, 60 of them in that particular route and they are quite very open na in terms of how they support this initiative of the government to develop a bus system.
So we approached them if they’re interested na we can already replace them with the buses. So they’re okay with it, so they just requested that if it’s okay, they also be transferred to a different route na naman na wala din naman kaming jeepneys doon. So we found the route, they will be sooner transferred there and that the routes they previously were servicing, we’ll put a bus there.
So it’s still an interim thing because—and another side na naman ng city also has the same ano … we also have the same plan. Kaya lang, that particular route, we have existing jeepneys doon din but there are a lot of jeepneys there – at least, 500 – and there are different routes there. So in terms of managing the expectations nung mga PUJ operators and drivers is quite difficult so maybe, although we plan to have three interim routes, maybe for the next few weeks or months, we may only be able to implement two.
So, it’s interim because when the High Priority Bus System comes, they have to stop; everybody should stop iyong mga buses na ito specifically, including iyong mga previous buses na pinatakbo natin under an augmentation scheme. So all of them will be removed or either incorporated into the High Priority Bus System Service namin.
So that’s why it’s interim because based on the current demands and the level of service that we can provide, we cannot do it in a long-term eh. So we have to just make do with what we can really realistically do for now without also hampering our plans for the, hopefully, better public transportation that each PBS is.
ASEC. ARCENA: Pinaghahandaan din ng Davao ang epekto nito sa mga jeepney driver?
MR. DOMINGO: Rest assured as we have always emphasized to them, we have prepared special packages for them to avail. So right now we’re only finalizing with LTFRB and the Department of Transportation and our local leaders here in the city on the actual financial assistance that we are going to give them.
In terms naman sa non-financial assistance, we are already doing it right now. We have already tapped DOLE. We have already tapped TESDA. We have tapped even Department of Health. So all of the national agencies that we may be able to provide alternative livelihood or alternative work schemes or alternative employment, they are already tapped and we are already in constant partnership na sa kanila I think since last year.
So with TESDA, there are already people who underwent training, who are previously PUJ drivers and now are on their way to becoming certified bus drivers. I think we already have former drivers who are now certified welders. So we already have people who were able to avail of the DOLE program for TUPAD. I think we also have graduates for programs under DTI wherein DTI provides livelihood trainings for… like, if you’re into like the … in manicure/pedicure or into baking, so we have these certain projects like that. So we already have people who stick still or who were in this PUJ who are already graduates or were able to avail of this.
So the message really is more for the PUJ sector ‘no. It’s quite a challenge really because whether we like to say it or not, this is basically we’re telling them that their industry will be changed with a better industry. It’s not only for the reason that we want to change it, but it’s really for the betterment or for the convenience of the entire or the majority of the people in Davao and its economy or its guests or its tourists. So one thing is, we’d like for them to be—ongoing kasi ang engagement namin sa kanila, and most of them, sometimes nagdi-disillusion na eh because we’ve been talking with this project for years now. So some of them are still, “Ah, it is still not happening or what.” But we’re on our way. The interim bus is there, the augmentation bus is there. We even have a private partner operating an electric bus now here in the city. They have seven electric buses.
So the buses are really coming. So the city is really focused on implementing this. So what we want is for the operators and drivers to coordinate with the city government ‘no. As much as we would like, we’ve done numerous consultations na and public hearings with different PUJ routes ‘no or operators in certain routes in the city, all over the city. We’ve been around the city since 2018, 2019. Fortunately, even with COVID hitting us ‘no, we still do consultations with PUJ sector. Kaya lang, we can’t give them anything or they can’t avail of the packages, financial or non-financial packages that we have prepared for them if they’ll not be cooperating like submitting the information that will require for them to avail this because—as we all know, we are a government of laws ‘di ba, so when we try to give out this cash assistance or non-financial assistance, we have to properly document it. They have to present their papers like identification. They have to fill up forms. They have to submit the franchise issued by LTFRB. So they have to go undergo this process in order for us to be also able to give this non-cash and financial cash assistance.
The thing is, I think if you total everything out for this particular project, no less than I think 1.5 billion is already dedicated or allotted or will be allotted for the PUJ sector who will be basically displaced with the HPBS project.
ASEC. ARCENA: Ang High Priority Bus System ng Davao ay bahagi ng transport roadmap ng Davao. Sa ating pagbabalik, kumustahin naman natin ang Q City Bus Service ng Quezon City. Dito lang po iyan sa Cabinet Report.
ASEC. ARCENA: Nakatutok pa rin kayo dito sa Cabinet Report. Tumungo naman tayo sa Quezon City at kilalanin ang Q City Bus Service.
ASEC. ARCENA: Libre para sa lahat sa ngayon, hindi magtatagal, ang Q City Bus Service ay magiging exclusive na para sa mga may Quezon City ID lamang.
MR.ALBERTO KIMPO: Ang QC Bus ay libre sa ngayon habang kasalukuyan pa nating ginagawa iyong ating QC ID na sistema. Lahat ay puwedeng sumakay ng libre dito sa ating walong ruta ng ating QC Bus. Subali’t kapag medyo na-rollout na natin ang ating QC ID, kinakailangang ipakita ng isang mananakay ang kaniyang QC ID para siya ay makasakay ng ating QC Bus.
Tumatakbo lamang ito sa loob ng territorial jurisdiction ng Lungsod Quezon. Iyan ang mga patakaran kung saan pinahintulutan tayo ng LTFRB na gumamit ng mga provincial buses na mayroong public franchise. Ang nangyari ay we hired provincial bus companies na patakbuhin nila ang kanilang mga bus sa halip na doon sa ruta kung saan sila may public franchise, dito natin sila pinatakbo sa mga ruta natin ng ating QC Bus.
Mula dito sa walong ruta natin ngayon ng ating QC Bus, gusto nating paramihin pa ito. Kung saan sila tumatakbo na ngayon, gusto natin siyempre na mapataas ang ating ridership. At habang inaaral natin kung saan talaga iyong origin at destination ng ating mga mananakay, siyempre ang Lungsod Quezon ay binubuo ng napakaraming mga residential areas. Gusto nating masundo at maihatid ang ating mga mamamayan dito sa mga lugar na ito kung saan magiging last mile na lang iyong kakailanganin nilang paglalakbay pauwi sa kanilang mga tahanan sana gamit ang mga bisikleta o kaya ang paglalakad kaya pinaiigting din ng pamahalaang lungsod ang ating bicycle and active transport na mga initiatives.
At mula naman doon sa mga residential na areas na iyon, ang talagang pinakamahalagang paruroonan nitong ating QC Bus ay ang Quezon City Hall. Subali’t galing naman sa Quezon City Hall, maaari din silang sumakay ng iba na namang QC Bus na maghahatid sa kanila sa ating mga major transportation trunks ‘no kasama na dito ang LRT 1, sa Roosevelt Station; ang LRT 2 sa Katipunan-Aurora Station, Anonas Station, Araneta-Cubao Station, maging sa Gilmore Station maaaring magpunta na doon ang mga mananakay ng QC Bus. Maaari din silang magtungo papunta sa MRT lalo na sa MRT North Avenue Station at MRT Quezon Avenue Station. Puwede rin naman silang pumunta sa MRT Araneta Center Cubao Station. At dito sa mga areas na ito dahil marami rin namang mga P2P na mga terminals, maaari rin silang pumunta doon sa mga iba’t ibang P2P terminals na iyon. At isama ko na rin iyong pinaka-recent na naidagdag ng DOTr which is iyong EDSA Bus Carousel.
So lahat iyan ay masusing pinag-aralan ng pamahalaang lungsod iyan upang matiyak na may connectivity hindi lamang sa mga major networks ng national government kung hindi pati na rin sa iba’t ibang mga modes of transport. Kaya nabanggit ko kanina na iyong ating mga bike lanes, tinitiyak natin na magkakaroon din ng mga end point facilities iyong mga bike lanes natin malapit sa mga istasyon ng ating city bus.
Mahalaga kasi na isipin natin na kasalukuyang naipapataw pa ang mga limitasyon ng social distancing at minimum health standards sa ating mga pampublikong sasakyan kasama na ang QC Bus kung saan hanggang kalahati lang ng capacity, 50% ng capacity ang puwedeng ikapuno ng ating mga QC Bus. Subalit’ masaya na rin akong iulat na para sa ilan nating mga ruta, halos natatamo na natin ang 90, 95 percent ridership doon sa 50% maximum capacity na pinahihintulutan dahil sa ating minimum health standards.
Mayroon din tayong mga ruta na medyo, aminado naman tayo, medyo mahina pa, kailangan pa natin na palakasin. Nangangahulugan na kailangan pa nating ipaalam, ipagbigay-alam sa ating mga mamamayan na puwede nilang gamitin ang QC Bus, ito ay maaasahan patungkol sa schedule. Malawak ang network nito kaya puwede ka talagang makarating mula sa isang bahagi ng lungsod patungo sa iba pang mga bahagi ng lungsod gamit ang ating city bus. Tulad ng aking nabanggit, iba ang approach na ipinataw talaga ng ating City Administrator na si Mike Alimurung dito, na gusto niya ay world-class talaga ang ating Quezon City bus; sumusunod ang ating mga hinayr [hired] na mga bus companies sa isang tight schedule sa kanilang pagbiyahe; kailangan na doon din lang sila magsakay at magbaba, doon sa mga designated natin na mga bus stops — at hindi marami ito. Dahil doon ang biyahe ng mananakay ng ating QC Bus ay masasabi kong mas mabilis kaysa sa biyahe kung ibang mode of transportation ang kanilang sinakyan.
Kaya maraming salamat dito sa programa ninyo, magagawa nating hikayatin ang mga mamamayan natin dito sa Lungsod Quezon na sakyan, gamitin ang ating QC Bus. Ito ay isang programa na handog sa kanila ng kanilang pamahalaang lungsod. At nais naming, iyon, makita na ito ay talagang gamit na gamit at sulit na sulit ng ating mga mamamayan.
ASEC. ARCENA: At maging sa QC ay may plano na ring pagpapatupad ng isang Bus Rapid Transit or BRT service.
MR. ALBERTO KIMPO: Ang BRT na proyekto ng DOTr na nakakasakop ng Lungsod Quezon ay ang tinatawag nila na BRT Line 1 na proyekto na magdudugtong ng Quezon City Hall at Manila City Hall. Subali’t ito ay isang national government na project, masusunod naman nila siyempre ang mga patakaran ng LTFRB patungkol sa pag-charge ng mga fares. Ibang-iba ho ito sa Quezon City bus augmentation program na tinatawag nating QC Bus.
ASEC. ARCENA: Pilipinas, minsan ang solusyon sa mga suliranin ay nasa panibagong pagtingin sa ating kapaligiran at sa kakaibang paggamit sa mga bagay na nandiyan na tulad ng mga bus – matagal na ngang nandiyan na, kinasanayan na natin at subok na sa daan. Kapag iniba natin ang approach sa paggamit nito, epektibo rin naman at sa halagang mas mura pa.
Sa panahon ng pandemya, we are all being called to be a bit more creative. May iba pa bang gamit sa kagamitan na nandiyan na tulad na nga ng bus? Sana makahanap tayo ng inspirasyon sa mga ginagawa sa Cebu, Davao at Quezon City, at sa kanilang paggamit sa bus to the future.
Muli, ako po si JV Arcena, pansamantalang humahalili kay Secretary Martin Andanar. Magkita-kita tayo ulit sa susunod na Biyernes para sa isa na namang Cabinet Report. Mabuhay ang Pilipinas! Mabuhay ang mga Pilipino!
Source: PCOO-NIB (News and Information Bureau-Data Processing Center)