AS the Pasig River Ferry system formally reopened on Monday, campaigns to rehabilitate the Pasig river are set to be intensified amid fears that the “stink” may hamper the operations of the ferry service.
Project proponents and commuters who rode the ferry during its launch yesterday admitted that the decaying condition of the river may affect the ridership and operations of the ferry system.
The Pasig River Ferry is being pushed by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), and the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC).
PRRC president Gina Lopez admitted that the river is “stinky” and that its water is “glassy.”
Because of this, Lopez said the PRRC will intensify its efforts to rehabilitate Pasig River to eliminate its foul odor.
“After three years, imagine we just spent P5 billion in that river. It’s still dirty,” she told reporters.
As part of the PRRC measure, Lopez said they will start the rehabilitation of at least 16 Metro Manila esteros that directly flows into the Pasig River.
“That’s the state of our esteros today. Dirty. San Juan is the most dirty. If we don’t clean the esteros, nothing’s gonna happen. But this year, we’re gonna start with the river,” Lopez said.
MMDA chairman Francis Tolentino said with the reopening of the ferry service, people will be aware to revive the Pasig River.
Actress Shaina Magdayao, who rode the Pasig Ferry for the first time, said the revival of the ferry system will also serve as a wake-up call for Filipinos to rehabilitate the river.
Passengers Ruby Alcantara, Jovy Calibatasa and Liway Buntigo said the ferry ride is more convenient, faster and economical.
“By land, we used to travel for more than one hour from Pasig to Makati. But with the ferry service, my travel time is only 30 minutes,” Alcantara said.
During its dry-run on Monday, five boats offered free rides to passengers from Guadalupe in Makati City to Pinagbuhatan in Pasig City, and vice versa.