Action star-turned-senator Robin Padilla has apparently thought of the best solution to Metro Manila’s worsening congestion problem — cable cars.
Padilla, who got more votes than any other senator in this year’s elections, made the proposition at yesterday’s Senate plenary session after Senator JV Ejercito called to improve the country’s railway system.
As quoted by the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Padilla said, “Nais ko rin po sana na imungkahi po sa inyo na ito po ay bagay din sa Pilipinas, lalong-lalo na sa Metro Manila dahil sa traffic. Ito po ’yung mga cable car.” (I would like to forward this suitable solution in the Philippines, especially in Metro Manila because of the traffic. This is the usage of cable cars.)
Padilla added that poor traffic conditions lead to the country’s inadequate development, and a strong transportation system, including a railway system, can help address this problem.
Although the senator did not offer any other details regarding his suggestion, social media raised doubts about its feasibility.
“Two of the most dense cities — New York and Tokyo, use subways and train systems. Their cable cars are good for tourists, but not for mass transport. Saang multiverse kaya nakuha ni Robinhood yang idea nya?” one said.
“Isn’t this infrastructure mostly for tourists because it runs so slow? And how would you even implement cable cars in Metro Manila? Expand MRT and LRT, PNR, and the subway system. Organize bus services and offer more routes,” another argued.
“Hindi alam ni Robin Padilla ang konsepto ng “mass transport” kaya ipinanukala ang nakakatawang cablecar bilang solusyon sa trapiko sa Metro Manila. Mass transport ang pagsasalin-salin ng daan-daang pasahero sa isang galawan. Pangturista ang cablecar sa ibang bansa. Kawawa siya,” veteran journalist Philip Lustre said.
(Robin Padilla does not know the concept of “mass transport,” which is why he is forwarding the humorous cable car as a solution to Metro Manila’s traffic situation. Mass transport is the shuttling of hundreds of passengers in one motion. Cable cars are made for tourists in other countries. How pitiful.)
That said, it seems that the senator may find itself an ally in no less than the Department of Transportation, who said that the idea of cable car transport system may not be as far-fetched.
“Cable car systems are already being used worldwide as a mode of transport such as in Brazil and Colombia. DOTr already conducted a feasibility study during the previous administration and it appears that there are probable routes where it is feasible and can fill gaps not served by road or rail sectors,” transportation secretary Jaime Bautista said.