Gov't to boost Pasig River ferry system to lessen traffic woes in Metro Manila
The Duterte administration is eyeing to revitalize the ferry system in Pasig River to address Metro Manila's traffic congestion, which according to Japan International Cooperation Agency has been causing economic lost of P3.5 billion daily.
In a press conference Wednesday, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said the improvement of the Pasig River ferry system could be done through a combination of government and private sector effort.
"The new estimate for the economic cost of congestion in Metro Manila is P3.5 billion daily. So, we're thinking of reviving the transport system, ferry system in Pasig River," he said.
While the ferry system has been operational under the Metro Manila Development Authority, it is unreliable, he said.
"You do not know whether there will be a ferry. So we got to develop reliable and comfortable (ferry system). Perhaps it should be air conditioned," added Diokno.
"So what we want to do is we can invest in the infrastructure, plus with the help of the private sector...after putting the stations, we will probably tender bid for the private sector to run," he said, adding that the system should be "reliable, predictable."
Under the current set up, the ferry operates from Monday to Saturday servicing 12 stations from Pinagbuhatan in Pasig City to Plaza Mexico in Intramuros, Manila and with an interval of about one hour for each travel.
The fare is between P30 and P95, with and estimated one hour and 25 minutes travel time from end to end or 26-kilometer stretch.
Diokno said the ferries to be dispatched in Pasig River should also be air-conditioned.
He said more stations could be built as the government plans to construct about 14 more bridges across the river.
"That will relieve Edsa tremendously...right now DOTr (Department of Transportation) is reviewing the lines. This is part of the modernization," the Budget chief said.
He added there should also be dredging of the Pasig River.
JICA recently said that the Philippines is losing some P3.5 billion daily due to traffic woes in Metro Manila, higher than the P2.4 billion that it estimated in September 2014. Celerina Monte/DMS