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Commuter group supports upgrade of Pasig River Ferry, renews call for review of PAREX project

The Passenger Forum - TPF

Transport advocacy network The Passenger Forum today applauded the announcement of the DOTR that the government aims to upgrade the Pasig River Ferry while asserting that the said transport system is not compatible with another project, the Pasig River Expressway (PAREX).

According to TPF Convener Primo Morillo, “We are happy that the DOTR is listening to our suggestions and we hope that they will develop the Pasig River Ferry System by making bigger terminals, adding more stations, acquiring additional waterbuses, among other things that will make commuter experience better.”

Since September 2019*, TPF has been pushing for the expansion of the Pasig River Ferry. The group also called for the review of PAREX earlier this year.

“PAREX is not commuter-friendly because it prioritizes private cars and contrary to the claims of Ramon Ang, the project’s technical details do not mention anything about a bus rapid transit system, bike lanes, or any features for pedestrians. It is not environment-friendly as it will be detrimental to the rehabilitation of the Pasig River. It also endangers multiple heritage sites and historical buildings in Manila, especially inside Intramuros. Even their Environment Impact Assessment report has been suspected to be plagiarized,” Morillo said.

He also mentioned that while PAREX is car-centric, the Pasig River Ferry System is a good addition to the public’s mass transport options as it does not add to road congestion in Metro Manila.

Morillo explained, “The Pasig River crosses populous and busy areas of Metro Manila and it is an existing resource that we can maximize for public transportation. The way to maximize the ferry system is for the government to give attention and allot funds for its development instead of building an expressway over the Pasig River that will further contribute to its decay.”

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