On August 9, Tuesday, neophyte senator Robin Padilla had netizens and personalities divided with his suggestion that cable cars are a solution for congested traffic in the Philippines.
Padilla’s remark came during the plenary session following Sen. JV Ejercito’s call for improving the country’s railway system.
“Ngayon lang po, gusto ko lamang pong imungkahi sa ating mahal na senador [Ejercito] sa San Juan, meron pong isang nauuso din ngayon na kung tawagin po nila ngayon ay ropeway. Ito po ‘yung paggamit ng cable,” began the actor-turned-senator.
He continued, “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.”
Columnist JC Punongbayan was disappointed with Padilla’s suggestion, tweeting, “Juskolord 6 na taon na ganito??”
Juskolord 6 na taon na ganito??? 😫 https://t.co/lVc9ygffdX
— JC Punongbayan, PhD (@jcpunongbayan) August 9, 2022
A netizen even ridiculed the senator’s idea, “suggesting” that it would be better for a traffic-congested area like EDSA to have a zipline rather than cable cars. He, however, agreed that it was a good suggestion to install such in cities like San Juan.
Sen Badboy, ba't di na lang po zipline sa EDSA para mas mura at mabilis, tapos bring your own helmet and zipline kit na lang. Pero gusto ko rin naman yang cable cars na yan, bagay na bagay yan sa San Juan. pic.twitter.com/WksJN98aCE
— Rain (@raindeocampo) August 9, 2022
Comedian Alex Calleja also had the same thought.
Eto ang maganda solution sa traffic! Zip line! Monumento to Baclaran, siguradong enjoy ka! pic.twitter.com/DXWEBhv0cM
— Alex Calleja (@alexcalleja1007) August 10, 2022
Journalist Phillip Lustre Jr even enlightened Padilla about the meaning of “mass transport,” seeing that the senator seemed to have failed to grasp the definition of the term.
Hindi alam ni Robin Padilla ang konsepto ng "mass transport" kaya ipinanukala ang nakakatawang cablecar bilang solusyon sa trapilko sa Metro Manila. Mass transport ang pagsasalin-salin ng daan-daang pasahero sa isang galawan. Pangturista ang cablecar sa ibang bansa. Kawawa siya.
— Philip Lustre Jr. (@IpeLustre) August 10, 2022
A netizen expressed concern regarding the suggestion, especially how it could benefit commuters. Instead of adding a new form of transportation, the Twitter user pointed out that the Senate must first address the problems on the road.
“Hold up, Mr Senator! Can Juan dela Cruz would be able to pay for every trip? How does it go? It is the discipline of the motorists that creates the problem! The road markings are not even visible! Put the line on it! Let all the motorists follow the road directions!”
Hold up, Mr Senator! Can Juan dela Cruz would be able to pay for every trip? How does it go? It is the discipline of the motorists that creates the problem! The road markings are not even visible! Put the line on it! Let all the motorists follow the road directions!
— Bolts (@PonceRolly) August 9, 2022
Another believed that the senator was referring to cable cars on the ground, not those suspended. However, it is still not ideal due to the country’s geography, said the netizen.
A netizen lambasted those who ridiculed Padilla for his suggestion, explaining that the senator was referring to trams.
Ito yung idea ni robin padilla. Sa ibang bansa ganyan ginagawa nila para hindi matraffic yung mga tao papunta sa trabaho. Hindi yung mema? Memasabe lang na mali. 😂 tulungan mo ang india samg. Magaling ka dba? pic.twitter.com/iJmSsH6LlB
— C A T A S T R O P H E (@gurlbehindthisb) August 10, 2022
Meanwhile, some netizens found Padilla’s suggestion “feasible.”
Personally, I would prefer a strong metro system coupled with more city buses since hindi naman mountainous ang Kamaynilaan to begin with but this is worth looking into. Cable cars as public transport are FEASIBLE!
(Still, Robin Padilla shouldn't be a senator HASUDHUASDUASHDUS)
— max (@guanzoned) August 9, 2022
Maganda naman yung cable car na idea ni Robin Padilla. Ang problema kung paano imamaterialize yung idea.
— Alfred Garrido (@lfredgarrido) August 10, 2022
A netizen was interested enough to hear further plans regarding the senator’s suggestion
It’s an idea. Can you provide more information about other countries doing this? How have they succeeded? What are the challenges?
— Joy Ng (@JoyNg23143983) August 11, 2022
The lawmaker floated the idea and has yet to coordinate with concerned public agencies like the Department of Transportation (DOTr) or Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) if his suggestion could be possible.