Pasig River ferry revival has a new enemy: Water lilies


Posted at Dec 11 2019 08:20 AM

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Clumps of water lilies blanketing the Pasig River can suspend the trips of the river service there, an alternative mode of transport that the government recently revived to ease crippling traffic in the capital, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority said Wednesday. 

Water lilies, which typically sprout during the last quarter of the year, are heavy and can damage the drive shaft of ferries if stuck between its propellers, said MMDA EDSA traffic chief Bong Nebrija. 

"Isa po iyan sa challenge na kinakaharap ng Pasig ferry natin... Ayaw naman nating masira ang ferry natin, ma-delay ang operations kaya minsan sinu-suspend namin iyan because of the condition of the Pasig River," he told radio DZMM. 

(That is one of the challenges faced by our Pasig ferry. We don't want our ferry to be damaged, operations to be delayed, so sometimes we suspend trips because of the condition of the Pasig River.) 

The ferry service relaunched this week with 7 ferries provided by the MMDA and 2 each donated by the Manila and Pasig governments. 

Nebrija said he had no information on plans to privatize the ferry service. Previous attempts for its privatization bogged down because of difficulty in getting government subsidy for fares and delays in trips due to operators' need to pack boats with passengers, he noted. 

DZMM, Dec. 11, 2019