Confident that commuters will patronize the revival of the ferry system along Pasig River, more private firms have expressed interest in joining the bidding process for the rights to operate the said system.
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Francis Tolentino said that at least five private firms have submitted their applications to the agency and to 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.
He noted that even the operator of the defunct ferry system, Nautical Transport Services, also expressed interest in bidding for the project.
The MMDA chief stressed that the bidding process makes the project transparent and compliant with the Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act.
In preparation for the opening of the ferry system in April, a tripartite committee consisting of the DOTC, Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission and MMDA was formed.
He said the committee would step in to conduct the bidding process and regulate the fare matrix, among others.
Tolentino also believed that private firms would be ready before the operations start in the last week of April.
Once private companies go full blast in the operation, Tolentino said MMDA’s own ferryboats will serve as backup.
To sustain the operation of the ferry system, Tolentino said that at least eight ferryboats would need to ply the river daily.
Initially, five terminals will be opened, which include Pinagbuhatan in Pasig, Guadalupe in Makati, Santa Ana, Polytechnic University of the Philippines in Santa Mesa, and Escolta in Manila City.