Proposed monorail a boost to Iloilo City economy

By Perla Lena

June 1, 2018, 1:29 pm

ILOILO CITY -- The realization of the monorail project system proposed by the BYD (Build Your Dreams) Auto Industry Co Ltd. in Iloilo city is expected to further boost the economy of the metropolis.

BYD, an auto industry company based in China, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) and non-disclosure agreement for the conduct of a pre-feasibility study for its proposed monorail project with the local government unit here in August last year.

Last January, the result of the pre-feasibility study showed that this city is capable of hosting the project.

Anytime this June, the firm is expected to present the result of their feasibility study, said Ritchel Gavan, head of the Local Economic and Investment and Promotion Office (LEIPO) in an interview Thursday afternoon.

The study will cover the financial modality, exact stations, and other details of the project, which will be an “added boost to the local economy” and will provide employment for the locals.

“From the start, we have said that this is a private investment so we will be generating revenues from this,” Gavan said.

Initially, the company was also advised to source its workers during the construction phase at the locality, ensuring employment for Ilonggos.

The transport system will also provide ease and convenience to commuters because the pre-feasibility study result showed that the travel time from its point of origin to the city hall will just be 15 minutes.

Gavan said that the first of the project’s three phases will cover three Iloilo City routes -- Iloilo City Hall to Ungka in Jaro district for Line 1; Jaro to the city center for Line 2; and Mohon, Areval to City Proper for Line 3.

The proposed monorail was highlighted during the BYD launch of its Multi-Layered Electrified Transportation Solution in the Philippines at the Le Pavilion in Pasay City last Wednesday.

Gavan said Iloilo City is the first local government unit outside China that the BYD has begun working with.

“It only goes to show that they are impressed with the city. They have seen the capabilities of Iloilo City. They see that we are almost there being a smart city,” she added.

Gavan said that while the project will push through, it will first be subjected to a Swiss challenge because it is an unsolicited proposal.

Meanwhile, Mayor Jose Espinosa in his message during the launch said that the presence of BYD in Iloilo City will make this highly-urbanized city a “pioneer in terms of innovation.”

“With BYD’s monorail in our lovely city, we will not only enhance the city’s traffic management scheme but will also promote our campaign for green technology,” Espinosa said.

Wednesday’s event also showcased the various electric transportation facilities being offered by the BYD. (PNA)