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Ferry boats docked in one of the stations of the Pasig River Ferry Service. Partial resumption of the operations will start on Monday, with passengers getting free rides / PNA

MMDA to resume Pasig River ferry service 

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The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) announced the partial resumption of the operations of the Pasig River Ferry Service (PRFS) on August 3, 2020.

“We are pleased to announce that everything is set for the partial resumption of the PRFS but only half of its capacity, inclusive of ferry boat crew. Also, we will continue to provide free rides for the ferry passengers,” Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Danilo Lim said in a news release issued on Friday.

Ferry stations that will initially operate on Monday are those in Pinagbuhatan, San Joaquin, Guadalupe, Valenzuela, Lawton, and Escolta.

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Ferry service will operate Mondays to Saturdays from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. but at half of the capacity, based on IATF guidelines.

The ferry boat trip routes are from Pinagbuhatan to Guadalupe, Guadalupe to Escolta and vice versa, and Guadalupe to San Joaquin and vice versa.

“We look forward to serving our passengers, compliant with the physical distancing policy and other health protocols to ensure their safety,” Lim said.

In preparation for the resumption of PRFS operations, all ferry stations and ferry boats, including docking and maintenance facilities, have undergone mandatory disinfection.

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Floor markings, stickers, and posters were placed at the ferry station to guide the passengers in observing physical distancing.

Moreover, according to Frisco San Juan Jr., MMDA deputy chairman and ferry service head, the PRFS committee has set standard operating procedures to further guide the passengers.

These include the “no mask, no entry” policy; physical distancing shall be observed at all times; passengers who have colds, cough, or body temperature higher than 37.5 degrees Celsius would not be allowed to enter the PRFS premises; and only persons aged 21 years to 59 years would be allowed to board ferry boats.

Upon entering the ferry station, passengers will be required to undergo a temperature check, fill up the manifest form, and accomplish the commuter information sheet should contact tracing be deemed necessary.

"We will strictly implement these precautionary measures to ensure the safety of passengers. Personnel of PRFS can deny entry at the ferry station if a passenger refuse(s) to undergo those procedures," San Juan said.

The PRFS serves as an alternative mode of transportation for residents of Metro Manila.

Its operations were suspended on March 17, following the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine over the entire Luzon amid the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

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