THE Metro Manila Development Authority on Saturday resumed its Pasig River Ferry system operation following a massive cleanup of water lilies that clogged the river from Pinagbuhatan in Pasig City to Lawton in Manila.
The carpet of water lilies, according to MMDA officer-in-charge Thomas Orbos, prompted the agency to suspend the ferry’s operation last Thursday.
In its latest advisory, the MMDA stated “Pasig River Ferry System resumed operations effective 6:30 a.m. today in all stations.”
With the help of the Pasig River Rehabilitation Center, the MMDA’s clearing operation unit, was able to clear the river of water lilies in two-day clean-up operations.
The water lilies, that clogged the river during rainy season, came from Laguna Lake and it has long been the problem affecting the operation of the ferry river system since the time of then MMDA chairman Francis Tolentino.
Water lilies entangle the ferry’s propeller, preventing the boats from traveling at normal speed. Propellers have to be elevated so that tangled water lilies and even pieces of trash can be removed.
The ferry system covers 12 terminals in Pinagbuhatan, and San Joaquin in Pasig City; Guadalupe and Valenzuela in Makati City; Hulo in Mandaluyong City; PUP Sta. Mesa, Sta. Ana, Lambingan, Lawton, Escolta, and Plaza Mexico all in Manila.
The system operates from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily from Mondays to Sundays.
The MMDA revived the Pasig River system in 2014 as a means to decongest Metro Manila’s major roads affected by road construction projects of the government.
The program also aimed to boost Metro Manila’s tourism and can be used for disaster and rescue purposes as well.
Reports showed that the government stopped the Pasig River Ferry operations in 2011 following complaints from passengers about the long waiting time at the terminals and the river’s foul smell.