Activate Pasig ferry system, says Angara
MANILA, Philippines — If you cannot travel on Metro Manila’s congested roads, why not take Pasig River?
Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara on Sunday called on the Duterte administration to activate the 14 ferry stations along the Pasig, the main waterway that runs through several cities in the metropolis, to provide the public alternative mode of public transportation.
Instead of arguing whether the country was suffering from a transport crisis, the senator said government officials should get their act together and lay down a solution to the horrendous traffic in Metro Manila.
“We need to get this done right away if we want to ease traffic congestion in Metro Manila … Let’s come up with ways to provide relief to our commuters at an earlier time,” Angara said in a statement.
“Transport crisis or not, the fact that thousands of commuters are having an extremely difficult time getting to their destinations should already prompt immediate action from the entire government,” he said.
Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday expressed disappointment over presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo’s continued denial of a crisis in the country’s mass transport system.
Her comment came days following Panelo’s nearly four-hour commute from his home in Marikina to Malacañang, after accepting a challenge by a militant group to prove that there is no crisis in public transport.
“When you say there is no crisis, you will not do anything about it because for you, there is no problem,” the Vice President said on her weekly radio show.
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, however, said on Sunday that there was no transport crisis, but only a “traffic crisis” in the metropolis.
Angara said activating the ferry system in Pasig River could help improve commuter mobility in major areas in Metro Manila at a sooner time since most of the government’s infrastructure projects would be finished after President Duterte’s term in 2022.
Angara, chair of the Senate finance committee, pointed out that a feasibility study showed that a “fully operational” ferry transport system on the Pasig River could be activated within a year.
Out of the 14 stations of the Pasig River ferry, he said 11 were still operational.
According to the senator, these could service passengers traveling to and from the cities of Pasig, Mandaluyong, Makati and Manila.
“The current fleet consists of nine passenger boats, but only two are running daily,” he said.
To encourage people to take the ferry, Angara said the operations of the system should be reliable and that commuters should be able to get to other public transport terminals with ease. —REPORTS FROM MARLON RAMOS, DEXTER CABALZA AND JHESSET O. ENANO
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.