MANILA, Philippines ? State-guarantor Philippine Export-Import Credit Agency (PhilEXIM) has inaugurated a P135-million ferry project that is expected to make it easier and cheaper to commute between Cavite City and SM Mall of Asia, ease road traffic and improve tourism, the agency said Monday.
PhilEXIM President Virgilio R. Angelo said the agency guaranteed the loan of Metrostar Ferry, Inc. (Metrostar) for the government?s Manila Bay Transport Project, one of the priority programs of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
PhilEXIM hopes the ferry becomes a good alternative for Filipinos all over the metropolis. Angelo said the ferry service would also open in the Cavite City-Luneta Boardwalk-Del Pan Bridge waterway.
?We hope the ferry service will bring about the use of water transport system as a major alternative to land-based services,? said Angelo.
?An estimated 20,000 ridership is expected to initially benefit from this ferry scheme,? said Angelo. ?But more importantly, the ferry service is expected to somehow ease land traffic, promote tourism and provide jobs for the interim.?
For its initial Cavite City-Mall of Asia trip, the ferry service will cost P60-70, and will be open daily from 6:30 am untill 7:00 pm.
PhilEXIM said the Metrostar project would also help the domestic shipping sector and increase government revenue. The ferry service, Angelo added, uses catamaran, a kind of water transport widely used around the world, for efficiency and comfort, noting that these vessels were proudly Philippine-made.
Earlier, the National Economic and Development Authority reported a 39.6 percent growth in public infrastructure. Angelo said this was due to concerted efforts of government-owned or controlled corporations to partner with the national government to assist in developing priority projects that will spur economic growth.
?We are inclined to support the government?s priority projects in the name of socio-economic development. We must push greater potential for infrastructure progress and nautical projects such as this ferry service,? said Angelo.
Aside from infrastructure growth, Angelo is also targeting to guarantee loans in the logistics sector, power generation, and utilities and in mining.