Monorail! Duterte backs futuristic transport schemes for Cebu and Davao

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monorail
A scene from an episode of the Simpsons, in which the fictional town of Springfield is duped into building a monorail system, with disastrous consequences.

President Duterte has suggested that Cebu and Davao should construct monorail systems to address their chaotic traffic problems.

The president made the suggestion during the inauguration of the Mactan Cebu International Airport’s new terminal yesterday (Thursday, June 7).

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“It behooves upon the Department of Transportation (DOTr) 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 mass transport system,” he said.

He added that small progressive cities may choose to have a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system as they still have enough space to widen roads.

“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’ [centre lanes for BRT]. But for all others like Cebu and Davao, you have to go up. Monorail or whatever, you have to go up,” he said.

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A smaller monorail system is currently under construction as part of Bohol’s new airport.

High praise for terminal

Meanwhile, the president lavished praise on the new ‘resort terminal’ and praised its striking, wave-like design.

“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 [Arthur Tugade]. It is the best sight I’ve ever seen in the country. It can compare with any airport in Asia,” he said.

Airport manager Steve Dicdican said the new terminal would be fully operational by July 1. He added that during the last week of this month local people were invited to pay a visit to the new facility.

“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 new international terminal, which has the capacity to accommodate 12.5 million passengers a year, has 48-check-in counters — that are expandable to 72 — and seven passenger boarding bridges, which can be expanded to 12.

The terminal fee for international flights has been raised from 750 to 850 pesos.

Following the terminal’s inauguration, the president led the mass oath-taking of more than 3,000 newly-elected punong barangays [village chiefs].

“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 told them.

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