Transport officials eye free Pasig River Ferry rides until end of Duterte's term

Transport officials eye free Pasig River Ferry rides until end of Duterte's term

MANILA, Philippines — Transport officials are looking to extend the free ride offer of the Pasig River Ferry Service until the end of the Duterte administration, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Danilo Lim said.

At the relaunch of the ferry service on Monday, Lim said the Pasig River Ferry Service will offer free rides starting December 9 until January 31 of next year.

“Libre ito at the end of January pero pinipilit namin na makapag-source pa ng funds and resources. Kung pwede lang sana libre na ito habang si Presidente (Rodrigo) Duterte ay nakaupo, pero ginagawan natin ng paraan. Kung hindi man libre babaan pa natin yung (pamasahe),” he told reporters in an interview.

(This is free until the end of January but we’re trying to source more funds. If we can we want it free until the end of President Duterte’s term. We are looking for a way, if we can’t make it free, at least we can make the fare lower).

The ferry service first sailed in 2014 to serve as an alternative to congested roads but Lim said there were a number of lapses in its operations.

“Na-launch na noon pero apparently maraming pagkukulang…at this time malaki yung suporta ng Malacañang sa proyektong ito,” he said.

(This was launched before but apparently there were a lot of lapses…at this time Malacañang is showing support for this project).

He’s confident that the project would have a bright future.

“Very positive tayo na maganda itong pupuntahan nitong proyektong dahil nakita naman ninyo yung mga suporta, suportado tayo ng Malacañang, ng senador, suportado tayo ng local government units, suportado tayo ng private sector na marami sakanila magdo-donate,” he said.

(We are very positive that this project would have a good future because you can see the support, we are supported by Malacañang, by a senator, we are supported by the local government units, we are supported by the private sector, which most of them vowed to donate).

He said that the 11 existing stations and ferry boats were repaired for the relaunch.

“Yung mga existing stations ni-repair natin. Marami tayong plano para sa proyektong ito, maraming may mga lugar itong Pasig River na medyo mababaw, kailangan i-dredge ng sa ganon,” he said.

(We repaired the existing stations. We have a lot of plans for this project, there are a lot of areas in Pasig River that is slightly shallow, so we need to dredge it).

Aside from the two boats from the Pasig City government, Lim said more ferry boats will soon set sail under the Pasig River Ferry Service.

The Pasig River Ferry Service, runs from Pinagbuhatan in Pasig City to Escolta in Manila, has seven boats that can accommodate varying number of passengers.

It has 11 stations namely Pinagbuhatan, San Joaquin and Maybunga in Pasig City; Guadalupe, Valenzuela in Makati City; Hulo in Mandaluyong; and Lambingan, Sta. Ana, PUP, Lawton, and Escolta in Manila.

The ferry service will operate from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. during weekdays.