Cebu City—President Rodrigo Roa Duterte suggested that Cebu, Davao, and other big cities in the country should have a monorail system to address the worsening traffic problem.
The President made the suggestion during the inauguration of the Mactan Cebu International Airport Terminal 2 on June 7.
“It behooves upon the Department of Transportation to improve things including traffic. It falls under his jurisdiction. And the only way the Cebuanos can escape the traffic, and maybe Davao and someday Iloilo—they are getting progressive, is really to go to the mass transport system,” President Duterte said.
He added that small progressive cities may choose to have a Bus Rapid Transit system as they still have enough spaces to widen their roads and make broad highways.
“For new places and small cities like GenSan [General Santos City], which has very wide highways, they can maybe choose to use ’yung sa gitna [center lanes for BRT]. But for all others like Cebu and Davao, you have to go up. Monorail or whatever, you have to go up,” Duterte said.
Meanwhile, Duterte appreciated the new MCIA Terminal 2 and praised its structural design. He commended DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade for the “beautiful” project.
“It’s a beautiful airport. Cebuanos are very lucky. You have the acoustics. It’s wood, it’s good for music. Very lucky. and I also commend my Transportation Secretary. It is the best sight I’ve ever seen in the country. It can compare with any airport in Asia,” he said.
Upon his arrival, the President led the unveiling of the Terminal 2 marker with the assistance of Tugade, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, Legislative Liaison Secretary Adelino Sitoy, Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Lloyd Diño, MCIA general manager Steve Dicdican, and GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. president Manuel Louie Ferrer and board chairman Srinivas Bommidala.
Duterte’s entourage includes Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, and actor Philip Salvador.
After the unveiling, President Duterte then toured and inspected Terminal 2’s facilities while being briefed by Bommidala and Ferrer.
Dicdican said the new terminal will be fully operational on July 1 and will be opened for public viewing on the last week of June during office hours.
“We dedicate this [terminal] to the Cebuanos and Filipinos who may not be able to fly internationally. They can also join in the celebration for this new facility,” he said.
The MCIA Terminal 2, which has the capacity to accommodate 12.5-million passengers a year, has 48-check-in counters that are expandable to 72 and it has seven passenger boarding bridges, which can be expanded to 12.
Dicdican, however, clarified that the new terminal is intended for international flights only and they will be collecting a terminal fee of P850.
From the airport, the President proceeded to administer the mass oathtaking of the 3,013 newly elected punong barangays (village chiefs) from the four provinces—Bohol, Cebu, Negros Oriental, and Siquijor—of Central Visayas at the Hoops Dome in Lapu-Lapu City.
In his speech, President Duterte warned the newly elected barangay officials to stay away from drugs and corruption, otherwise, they will face the consequences.
“It is not a threat, but it is an advice,” he said. “Palayo mo (stay away) or give it up, kay pinili ta sa mga tawo (because we were elected by the people).”
“You have to control drugs. Do not destroy my country because I will kill you! Do not destroy the young of my country because I will kill you,” he added.
Duterte also advised former Iloilo mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog and controversial Daanbantayan, Cebu Mayor Vicente Loot to stop their alleged involvement in illegal drugs.