Cebu, Philippines – Sectors that are against the proposed flyover project to be built along Governor M. Cuenco Avenue at its intersection with A.S. Fortuna Street in Cebu City are floating the idea of raising the needed funds for road widening as an alternative to the flyover.
Businessman Bunny Pages, spokesperson for the newly formed Banilad-Talamban Road Solutions Coalition, said the funds could be lent to the Cebu City government, which would then pay back the lenders slowly.
This, Pages said, was the coalition’s reaction to Mayor Tomas Osmeña’s claim that a cash flow problem in the city government prohibits the city from spending for a road expansion.
The coalition, composed of homeowners, landowners and businessmen in the villages of Banilad and Talamban, are of the belief that a road expansion would have better long-term benefits than the two-lane flyover, which is being funded by various congressional initiatives.
Pages, however, admitted that he was not sure how to go about the proposal to raise funds and lend it to the city.
“I do not know if it’s proper to lend the city some money… because I am not an expert of the local code,” Pages said.
Osmeña could not be reached for comment on Monday.
Pages also said that he could not be sure if the coalition could raise the total amount needed for the road widening, estimated to cost P40 million.
But it was still a better, cheaper solution to the flyover, which is estimated to cost around P140 million, Pages said.
“I and a few of my friends can contribute, but I emphasize that we’re not giving this money to the city, we’re letting the city borrow it,” he said.
Pages said Monday that around 10 homeowners associations in Banilad and Talamban have sent letters to the city council objecting the proposed flyover.
“They favor the road widening and clearing of intersections,” Pages said.
The homeowners associations that object to the flyover include those in Maria Luisa Estates, Paradise Village, Doña Rita Village, Santo Niño Village, El Dorado Subdivision, Green Plains, North Town Homes, North Town Residences, and Mahogany Grove.
Pages said he hoped that the letters would convince the city council not to endorse the project.
He said he believed that the flyover project would not push through without the council’s approval, as it might be illegal.
“There’s a provision in the local code that no project in the city can be implemented without the endorsement of the city council, so that would be against the law,” he said.
Pages appealed to Mayor Osmeña and especially to Representative Raul del Mar (Cebu City, north district), who is a proponent of the flyover project and has contributed to its funding.
“We want them to listen to the people, to consider the technical study of experts, and to consider a better, cheaper solution,” he said.