First Balfour Inc., the Lopez Group’s engineering and construction arm, plans to deploy in Iloilo City a fleet of electric buses and develop a supporting infrastructure, potentially a bus rapid transit system.
The plan to develop a green, electric-powered transport system is meant to support the city’s transformation into one of the country’s most livable and highly urbanized cities. This plan was conveyed to local government officials, led by Mayor Jerry Treñas, during a recent meeting.
First Balfour said the plan will reduce carbon emissions and traffic congestion, promoting local tourism, creating new jobs, and improving the local government’s delivery of service.
The company said the transport sector is considered a major contributor to climate change because it is dominated by vehicles that use mainly gasoline and diesel as fuel. When burned, these fossil fuels release massive amounts of carbon dioxide, one of the heat-trapping greenhouse gases behind global warming and climate change.
“A shift to the use of non-polluting electric vehicles will serve as one of the pillars upon which the city will transform itself into a top livable highly urbanized center in the country,” First Balfour said in a statement. It added that the provision of an efficient mass transport system is expected to reduce vehicle volume on the road, ultimately helping to address traffic congestion in the city.
First Balfour hopes its proposal can be incorporated as an enhancement to Iloilo City’s Local Public Transport Route Plan, whose objectives include improving the convenience and safety of public transportation for the riding public.
The company specializes in building clean and green projects, like the 150-megawatt Burgos Wind Project in Ilocos Norte, considered the country’s biggest wind project. First Balfour handled the construction of civil works for the Burgos project. It has also participated in building some of the country’s biggest infrastructure projects, including the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway, North Luzon Expressway, and the Light Rail Transit Line 1 Cavite Extension.