Press Release
October 3, 2020

Senator Nancy Binay asks DOTR why it used MRT budget for EDSA concrete barriers

Senator Nancy Binay asked the Department of Transportation (DOTr) why it used the MRT's budget to build concrete barriers in EDSA.

This after the DOTr admitted that it used funds from the MRT 3 bus augmentation program to "invest" in concrete barriers in EDSA.

"Di ba yung MRT Bus augmentation, ito naman yung magfifield lang kayo ng bus kapag nagbreakdown ang MRT? Wala naman sa usapan na gagawa kayo ng special lane for the buses," BInay said during the senate hearing on the proposed 2021 budget of the DOTr.

According to DOTR, it spent Php 154 million on barriers and 32 million on median bus stops.

Binay also asked why the DOTR sees this EDSA busway project as a permanent project when the National Economic and Development Authority, in a separate hearing, said otherwise.

"Tinanong ko ang NEDA ang sagot sa akin this is not a permanent program," Binay said.

DOTr Assistant Secretary Mark Steven C. Pastor said they believe that the project is effective because it cut travel time of buses from Monumento to PITX from 3 hours to 1 hour and 5 minutes.

However, Senator Binay noted that this is only because the economy is still not in full swing.

"Hindi pa 100% bukas ang ekonomiya natin. Napaghandaan ba ng pag-aaral niyo na 100% bukas ang ekonomiya natin and will it still be efficient by that time?" Binay asked.

Binay also criticized the transport department for failing to start the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit project after borrowing millions of dollars supposedly to create special lanes meant to decongest traffic.

However, 5 years since the loan was approved, the DOTr has yet to start construction of the project.

"Babayarin natin 'yung utang nang ni-isang hukay ay walang nagaganap," Binay said.

Apart from the interest payments for the loan, Binay said the Philippines would also have to pay for the default loss if it fails to comply with the agreement.

"Meron pa 'yang binabayaran na default loss na pag hindi tayo nakaka-comply, binabayaran din natin," Binay said.

The BRT loan took effect on Dec. 3, 2014, and will close by June 30, 2021.

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