The Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center has endorsed to the Iloilo City Government the electric bus rapid transit (EBRT) proposed by the First Balfour Inc. of the First Philippine Holdings Corporation.

“After review, the PPP Center found it complete so all the documents were brought to us. It is now ready for consideration by the PPP committee (of the city government),” Mayor Jerry Treñas said in an interview on Friday, March 22.

Treñas said the bus rapid transit will ensure that the transportation system of the city is modernized with green power.

“It will make Iloilo City at par with Cebu and Davao, where the national government is presently developing a BRT system to help manage the traffic situation,” he said.

The city government’s PPP committee will determine if the project is acceptable.

Concerned parties will sign a contract agreement and the proposal will be subjected to a Swiss challenge, which allows other parties to match or provide a better proposal than the original proponent.

The initial proposal covers three lines, including from Diversion Road and Arevalo and Jaro districts with 16 buses each, the mayor said.

Treñas also announced that the Swedish government offered to give one million dollars for a feasibility study to extend the EBRT project to Metro Iloilo municipalities.

“That means that while the First Balfour is ready for Iloilo City only, the feasibility study offered by the Swedish government will cover up to the airport, up to Oton, Leganes, Zarraga, Cabatuan,” he said.

Treñas is looking for the EBRT project to start in Iloilo City in the first quarter of 2025, while they have yet to finalize the terms for the Swedish-funded study.Perla Lena/PNA