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France grants PHL €450K for feasibility study on Metro Manila cable car system

The government of France has granted the Philippine €450,000 to finance a feasibility study for the possible establishment of a cable car transport system in Metro Manila.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the French government jump-started the feasibility study on Wednesday, November 14 during a meeting in Clark, Pampanga.

The feasibility study will run for 10 months.

"The feasibility grant is a direct grant from the Government of France," the DOTr told reporters in a Viber group message.

The feasibility study will be conducted by French consulting firms MDP Consulting and Systra, both with international expertise in transport infrastructure and cable car systems.

"As the grantor, the French Government is looking at an urban area for the cable car project's pilot implementation," the Transportation department said.

The feasibility study is for the DOTr to identify possible areas in Metro Manila for implementation of the project.

The feasibility study is comprised of three stages.

The first stage is the identification of potential cable car corridors, the second stage is the comparison of the potential corridors and the selection of the best cable car alignment, and the third stage is the full feasibility study.

The full feasibility study will determine if the project is technically, financially, and economically feasible.

“For the technical analysis under the full feasibility study, aspects to be studied include the kind of technology most suitable for the project; the actual alignment of the cable line; and, the determination of affected properties (Right of Way), utilities, and families,” the DOTr said.

The financial analysis, on the other hand, will determine the cost of the project for review and approval or adjustment by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

It will also involve weighing the economic costs versus the economic benefits of the project including travel time saved and savings in vehicle operating cost, among others.

"Further, it is the DOTr that has been pushing for a feasibility study on a cable car project in the country. France was engaged in the process given that it has one of the best urban cable car systems in the world," it said.

"Please note that this grant is merely for a feasibility study. The implementation phase will proceed based on the results of this study," the DOTr noted.

While the French government is financing a study for the establishment of a cable car system in Metro Manila, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade also urged the grantors to consider a study for La Union to Baguio and Caticlan to Boracay as prospective routes for a cable car system.

"He believes this not just a good transport solution, but may serve to boost tourism in those areas," the DOTr said.

Present during the meeting between French government representatives and Transportation officials were Tugade,  Ambassador of France to the Philippines Nicolas Galey, Transportation Undersecretary for Finance Garry de Guzman, Undersecretary for Administrative Service Artemio Tuazon Jr., French Embassy Economic Counsellor Laurent Estrade, other officials from the DOTr and the French Embassy.

Representatives from the NEDA and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority were also present. —LDF, GMA News