Study on ferry service plying Metro Manila waterways targeted for completion this year

THE Department of Transportation hopes to complete a feasibility study within the year on the Manila Bay-Pasig River-Laguna Lake (MAPALLA) Ferry System Project.

“This is something that’s currently under study. This is part of the administration’s initiative to really enhance the Pasig River and make it really liveable again,” Leonel Cray P. de Velez, assistant secretary for planning and project development, told reporters on the sidelines of an Asia and the Pacific Transport Forum on Tuesday.

The MAPALLA ferry system aims to establish a high-capacity, high-frequency and low-carbon ferry system.

The Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center said the project as envisioned will involve private-sector construction and development of the infrastructure and facilities, include landings and passenger terminals. 

The first phase of the project will serve the Pasig and Marikina rivers while the second phase is a possible extension of ferry services into Laguna de Bay and Manila Bay.

For now, the feasibility study “is currently ongoing with the PPP Center. So we hope to have the study within the year,” Mr. De Velez said.

The project could be bid out to interested parties next year, Mr. De Velez said, adding that the project cost is still being determined.

“To be determined. That is currently what we are doing; it will all stem from demand. The number of passengers will determine the number of ferry stations and boats,” he added. — Ashley Erika O. Jose