At least five companies are interested in operating the Pasig River ferry system.
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino said the firms are keen on joining the bidding for the ferry’s operation and have filed applications to the agency and the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC).
“Two companies have already submitted applications to the DOTC and three to the MMDA but they have yet to be evaluated,” said Tolentino.
Ferry operations are supposed to start in April.
He said even the operator of the defunct ferry system, Nautical Transport Services, has expressed interest in the project.
In preparation for the opening of the ferry system, a tripartite committee consisting of the DOTC, Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC) and MMDA has been formed.
Once the ferry services go full blast, MMDA’s own ferry boats will serve as backup, Tolentino said.
He said at least eight ferry boats need to ply the river daily to make the operation viable.
Initially, five ferry terminals will be reopened: Pinagbuhatan in Pasig, Guadalupe in Makati, Sta. Ana, Polytechnic University of the Philippines in Sta. Mesa, and Escolta in Manila.
RITCHIE A. HORARIO