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Cable cars? Restore suspended PUV routes first, House lawmakers say

Xave Gregorio - Philstar.com
Cable cars? Restore suspended PUV routes first, House lawmakers say
Motorists drive through a flooded portion of Taft Avenue in Manila following a heavy downpour on Tuesday, Aug. 9. 2022.
The STAR / Miguel de Guzman

MANILA, Philippines — Before the government starts building cable cars, as one senator suggests, it should restore old public transportation routes first, some lawmakers in the House of Representatives minority bloc say.

Rep. Arlene Brosas (Gabriela party-list) and Wilbert Lee (Agri party-list) said Wednesday in a news briefing that the government should focus on bringing back routes that remain unserved to this day, which transport and commuter groups said severely cripple the existing public transport supply.

"Ang kailangan ho talaga ay maayos iyong ating mga sasakyan, mabuksan ang mga franchises ngayon, makabiyahe ang ating mga jeepneys, makabiyahe ang ating mga bus. Iyon pa iyong kailangan ngayon. Hindi po iyong cable car na pag-uusapan natin," Brosas said.

(What we really need is for vehicle franchises to reopen, for our jeepneys and buses to resume traveling on the roads. That’s what we need now. Not these cable cars that we are talking about.)

In addition to this, Lee said it is important for the government to improve the MRT and LRT to address Metro Manila’s traffic woes.

"Ang pinakaimportante ngayon actually para matugunan itong problema sa traffic ay ayusin ang MRT, iyong LRT, tugunan iyong mga hinaing ng mga jeepney drivers, iyong mga bus, iyong mga bus operators," he said.

(What is most important now actually to address the traffic problem is to fix the MRT, the LRT and address the grievances of jeepney drivers, buses and bus operators.)

Meanwhile, Rep. Marissa del Mar Magsino (OFW party-list) said that while she sees cable cars being feasible for urban transport, there are more pressing issues than building them.

"I don’t think it’s the right time since there are more problems that should be prioritized," Magsino said in Filipino.

Sen. Robinhood Padilla suggested Tuesday during the upper chamber’s plenary session that cable cars or ropeways be built to ease traffic congestion that has plagued Metro Manila for years.

"The ropeway is a mode of transport that is gaining popularity. I wish to suggest that we consider using it in the Philippines especially in Metro Manila because of our traffic woes," Padilla said in Filipino in his manifestation.

Transport Secretary Jaime Bautista said the Department of Transportation conducted a feasibility study on ropeways, a pet proposal of his predecessor Arthur Tugade. Baguio City was among the potential sites for a cable car system.

"It appears that there are probable routes where it’s feasible and can fill gaps not served by road or rail sectors," Bautista said.

CABLE CARS

ROBIN PADILLA

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