THE municipality of Bauko in Mountain Province has broken ground on an 800-meter cable car system for transporting crops to the trading posts in lieu of more farm-to-market roads.
Bauko mayor Randolf Awisan said that the municipality was raising a counterpart fund worth P1 million to build the electric cable car cargo system that would be usable by the municipality’s micro, small and medium farm enterprises.
The cable car project, called the Cableways for Agricultural Resource Transport System (CARTS), is eyed to aid economic recovery in the area, not only by allowing easier access to the trading posts from the farms but also as it is electric, leaving it less susceptible to the soaring prices of crude oil, according to project leader Janice Kay Aquino, a Saint Louis University (SLU) civil engineering professor.
According to Aquino, most of the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR)’s terrain consists of slopes higher than 30 degrees, and the transport of agricultural produce remains a challenge as a result even when 96 percent of the region’s roads are paved with concrete.
Each CARTS carriage could carry up to 500 kilograms of crops when it crosses steep mountains and rivers by cables controlled by electric motors, which can be activated by a remote keypad or through a smartphone app, Aquino said.
“Mayor Awisan and his predecessor Abraham Akilit also pushed the idea of improving CARTS so it can also carry farmers in the future,” Aquino said.
The DA has been financing smaller cable systems, usually costing P5 million per kilometer, according to Cameron Odsey, the agency’s Cordillera director.
CARTS, Aquino said, measures how much savings the farmers would earn from using cargo cable cars instead of roads.