It's not necessary. The holes in the top tube are big enough to get the cable out with a spoke or bent wire, but the pink tube helps a LOT.
I also used it to guide the cable through the chainstay.
Did you buy your frame used? Mine had the tube taped in place.
I think you're referring to the short tubes that insert into the ferrules that stop the cable housing from going into the top tube. It's possible to run without these, but they make housing length a bit less critical and help route the inner cable away from the ferrules and the top tube.
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