Cable cars over Samar forest okayed

Cable cars over Samar forest okayed

CATBALOGAN CITY — The Bishops of the three Catholic dioceses in Samar Island are pushing for the conversion of the old bucket lift line of an abandoned mining site into cable cars that will run over a protected forest as an alternative solution to accessibility to Eastern Samar during the rainy season.

The Samar Island Partnership for Peace and Development (SIPPAD), in its quarterly meeting on Tuesday, 23 April, unanimously passed a resolution endorsing to the Regional Development Council the idea of connecting the towns of Hinabangan, Samar and Sulat, Eastern Samar with cables cars or gondola.

SIPPAD, convened by the Bishops of the Dioceses of Borongan, Calbayog and Catarman, is a multi-sector organization composed of government, church, and civil society representatives coming from the three provinces of Samar Island.

The idea of putting up cable cars was proposed by development planner Raul Reyes, who is a former private sector representative to the RDC.

Reyes said there used to have a bucket lift to transport ores from the mining site in Bagacay village in Hinabangan to a port in Sulat, Eastern Samar where barges were waiting that will export the ores to destinations abroad.

But since 1992 when the Bagacay Mines was shut down due to a breach of its siltation pond that polluted Taft River, the bucket lift was no longer used.

Reyes said that what remains now are only the posts which can be restored and upgraded for cable cars. This will provide an option for travelers to Eastern Samar who are usually stuck whenever there are landslides along the highway which always happens when there is incessant rain.

When the roads are closed, travelers are forced to take a southern route adding six hours to their travel time. In some occasions, both routes are closed to vehicles due to either flood or landslide.

“It is much shorter, cheaper, easy to maintain and has more touristic value because it passes through the lush and huge rainforest of Samar island,” Reyes said.

Daily Tribune