WATCH: Tolentino questions MMDA over underutilization of Pasig River Ferry service
Rosette Adel ( - September 5, 2019 - 7:48pm

MANILA, Philippines — Former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chief and now Sen. Francis Tolentino on Wednesday called out the officials of the agency for the underutilization of the Pasig River Ferry Service.

During the Senate hearing into the proposed establishment of elevated walkways in urban areas, Tolentino asked for the status of the ferry service.

“Ano na nangyari dun sa iniwan kong Pasig River Ferry? Umaandar ‘yun nung iniwan ko e,” Tolentino said.

(What happened to the Pasig River Ferry? That’s working when I left MMDA.)

The former MMDA chief said that during his term, the traffic authority planned to have more ferry terminals and extend the service of the Pasig River Ferry to Eastwood, Libis, Quezon City.

However, he lamented the lack of ferry services after he left the agency.

“Kasi ang alam ko hindi na raw tumatakbo yung ibang istasyon. God bless her soul, namatay na si Gina Lopez, nung binuksan ‘yan magkasama pa kami noon,” Tolentino said.

(Because I learned that some of the stations are no longer working. God bless her soul, Gina Lopez already passed away, we were together when it opened.)

“Balita ko wala na raw mga bangka? Baka nasa West Philippine Sea na ‘yun?” he asked.

(I heard there are no longer boats? Maybe they are already in the West Philippine Sea.)

MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia then defended the agency saying the Pasig River Ferry is still operating.

He clarified that some operations were halted because they suspended and fired some of the people found to be incompetent.

Garcia cited that they purchased eight engines for the ferry but only half of them were working due to the people manning the ferry boats.

“’Di nila naasikaso ‘yung maintenance. Lumabas may sign of incompetence (They did not handle the maintenance well. We learned there was a sign of incompetence),” Garcia said.

The MMDA, however, clarified that the erring employees were already replaced.

Garcia added that stations and ferry boats were rehabilitated.

He agreed with Tolentino that the Pasig River Ferry service helped ease traffic in Metro Manila.

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