RESIDENTS of Cavite may now reach Metro Manila faster by water travel, as the Department of Transportation (DOTr) through the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), with the support of the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), formally launched the Cavite-Manila ferry services on Sunday.
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade announced that passengers may start using the ferry service from the Cavite City Port Terminal going to the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Complex in Pasay City, and to the Liwasang Bonifacio Terminal (Plaza Lawton) in Manila, and vice versa.
“Andito kami ngayon dahil hangarin namin na ilunsad at i-revive ang ferry operation ng Cavite. Itong operation ng Cavite ay matagal ding nawala, matagal ding nakalimutan, kaya sabi namin, umpisahan, buhayin, at itaguyod ulit ‘yung ferry operation ng Cavite,” Tugade said.
The transportation chief also announced more good news: the riding public will get to avail of the ferry service for free until 9 January 2020, in coordination with Shogun Ships Co. Inc. and Seaborne Shipping Company Inc.
“Kausap ko ‘yung Shogun, Seaborne, ang sabi ko, ‘itong proyektong ito, gusto ko pamaskong handog sa mga Cavite, dapat ito libre. Hanggang matapos ang Kapaskuhan sa January 9, libre ang pamasahe sa ferry. Ito ‘yung pamaskong handog ng administrasyong Duterte sa inyo,” Tugade said.
Immediately following the launch, the ferry service kicked off its operations with an inaugural voyage from the Cavite City Port Terminal to the Liwasang Bonifacio Terminal (Lawton) in Manila. Upon arrival, it was announced that passengers who will ride the “MV Island Sabtang” will get free rides until January 31, 2020.
Two vessels will start operating tomorrow, with two to three more to be added next month to serve the routes.
Through the ferry service, travel time from Cavite City Port Terminal to Liwasang Bonifacio Terminal is estimated at 40 to 45 minutes. Meanwhile, travel time between the Cavite City Port Terminal and CCP, and vice versa, is around 15 minutes.
MV Island Sabtang from Shogun Ships Co. Inc. can accommodate 57 passengers, while MB Seaborne Mercury can accommodate 27 passengers. Fares for both rides are still under negotiation, as Secretary Tugade continues to push for lower prices.
For his part, Cavite City Mayor Bernardo Paredes thanked the DOTr and its attached agencies under the maritime sector for initiating the ferry service in a bid to help ease road traffic to and from Metro Manila.
“Sa ngalan ng ating pamahalaan at mamamayan ng ating siyudad, ang inyo pong lingkod ay lubos na nagagalak at nagpapasalamat sa inyong presensya upang matunghayan ang opisyal na pagbubukas ng Cavite-Manila Ferry Service. Ang nasabing proyekto ay makapagbibigay ng alternatibong pamamaraan ng transportasyon na tutugon sa ating kasalukuyang suliranin sa trapiko, na bago tayo makarating sa Metro Manila ay mag-uubos tayo ng mga 2-3 oras, ngayon, mga 40 minutes na lang,” Paredes said.
The Cavite-Manila Ferry Service is an offshoot of the “water jeepney” concept that was developed in Cebu, and was announced during the operational dry run of the Sangley Airport in Cavite. Secretary Tugade hopes that the riding public will utilize the service, as it offers a quick, convenient, and comfortable mode of transportation.
“Binubuhay natin ang konsepto ng ‘water jeepney’ sa Cavite, at sana po tangkilikin ninyo, para masabi natin, ‘okay ka, ferry ko’,” Tugade added.
Aside from the ferry service, the DOTr and MARINA also launched high priority maritime-related projects, such as the registration of recreational boats to boost tourism, and the opening of the MARINA Central Office Processing Center at the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange for the benefit of Filipino seafarers.
Regular fare for Manila-Cavite City is P160, P128 for students, P114 for seniors and PWDs, and P80 for children below 4 years old. While Manila-CCP Complex will be P200 for regular passenger, P180 for students, P143 for seniors and PWDs, and P128 for children below 4 years old.
With Dennis Abrina