MANILA — The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), with support from 2 local government units, relaunched on Tuesday the ferry service in Pasig River, which would provide an alternative mode of transport as Metro Manila grapples with crippling traffic.
The MMDA provided 7 boats for the service, while the Pasig and Manila governments donated 2 boats each.
Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno joined Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, Sen. Christopher "Bong" Go, MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim and other officials at the Pasig River Ferry's relaunch.
Fares for the ferry will be waived until the end of January 2020, benefiting some 40,000 passengers, said the MMDA.
"Pasig City commits to help however we can to make the Ferry a success. Poor mobility & traffic are national & local problems," its 30-year-old mayor said on Twitter.
The project will help Manila lure more tourists, added Moreno.
"If they are coming from Pasig, they can all travel directly, landing na agad sila dito sa Maynila, vice versa," he explained.
Go, meanwhile, urged the public to refrain from dumping waste into the river, recalling how President Rodrigo Duterte often complained about the stench of the waterway that is located near Bahay ng Pagbabago, his official residence.
The senator, who was Duterte's former longtime aide, also promised to help acquire more ferry boats.
—With a report from Doris Bigornia, ABS-CBN News