P176M allotted for 4 new passenger boats for Pasig River
MANILA, Philippines — Efforts to resuscitate the ferry system along Pasig River just got a much-needed boost as President Rodrigo Duterte approved the allocation of P176 million for the purchase of four brand-new air-conditioned passenger boats, Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara said on Sunday.
Angara, Senate finance committee chair, said the fund was included in the P4.1-trillion national budget for 2020 the President signed into law last week.
According to him, the budget was lumped in with the annual spending program of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) that was mandated to operate the ferry system on the major waterway in the metropolis.
“We still have a long way to go before the revitalized ferry system that is being envisioned becomes a reality. But this is a good start,”Angara said in an emailed statement.
“[The fund] is intended to make the Pasig River ferry system more viable as a mode of transport especially with traffic congestion in the roads of Metro Manila seemingly getting worse by the day,” he added.
The allocation would not only be used to acquire four 50-seater ferry boats, but also ensure that all 14 ferry stations on the river would be operational.
At present, Angara said the MMDA only had two ferry boats transporting passengers to 11 ferry stations traversing the cities of Pasig, Mandaluyong, Makati and Manila.
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