The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the Philippine government agency tasked with traffic management in the nation's capital, recently announced its plan to extend the Pasig River ferry route to critical areas around Laguna Lake.
The plan was announced to the local media by MMDA Chairman and General Manager Thomas Orbos during the launching and initial deployment of the agency’s two newest fibreglass ferry boats on Monday, October 24.
Located at the southern tip of the Pasig River and bordered by Metro Manila and the neighbouring provinces of Laguna and Rizal, Laguna Lake is the largest lake in the Philippines with a surface area of 911 square kilometres. Among other things, the lake serves as a temporary reservoir to alleviate flooding in Metro Manila during days of heavy rainfall.
The MMDA said that seven new ferry terminals will be put up in some of the key lakeside municipalities in Laguna and Rizal as part of the proposed expansion. Doing so will ensure direct ferry access to Metro Manila for residents of these two provinces, many of whom commute to and from the country's capital every day for work, school, or leisure.
The Pasig River ferry service is seen as a viable public transport alternative for Laguna and Rizal residents in light of the daily heavy traffic jams in and around Metro Manila and the limited commuter railway infrastructure in these provinces.
Nelson E. Dela Cruz