Manila Bay-Laguna Lake ferry system eyed

Manila Bay-Laguna Lake ferry system eyed

Manila Bay-Laguna Lake ferry system eyed

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is set to start looking next year for a private sector partner to develop a ferry system traversing Manila Bay, Pasig River, Marikina River, and Laguna Lake as the government aims to provide alternative routes linking the east and west corridors of Metro Manila.

Leonel Cray De Velez, DOTr Assistant Secretary for planning and project development, told reporters on Tuesday in Ortigas they were eyeing to bid out the mass transport project by next year following the conclusion of a viability study.


He said the transportation department was working with the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center of the Philippines for the feasibility study, which is targeted to be finished within the year.


Demand study

“One of the major aspects of the study is the demand. Before, we make important infrastructure investments similar to our railways, and our airports, we need to conduct passenger surveys. We need to understand how many people will actually use the system,” he said.

The passenger demand review will also dictate the project cost, he said, which will include the acquisition of ferry boats and related infrastructure.

Apart from building the ferry stations, De Velez said they would want to integrate multi-modal transport facilities for seamless transfers.

READ: Gov’t woos investors for Southern Luzon ferry system

“Over the course of reviewing all these, one of the key concerns is the connectivity, not just to road-based transportation like modern PUVs (public utility vehicles) and buses but also for active transport,” he said.

The DOTr official, as such, floated the idea of establishing bike lanes going to ferry stations. “One of the things we’re considering is allowing bikes on board,” he added.


In line with decarbonization efforts, De Velez said they were also looking into deploying electric boats along the routes.

We want to improve the sustainability, safety, and efficiency of our domestic shipping,” he said.

2oo new seaports

Previously, DOTr Undersecretary for the maritime sector Elmer Santiago said they were planning to construct 200 new seaports across the country by 2028 to improve connectivity among remote islands. Each terminal is estimated to cost P20 million to P80 million.

READ: 200 seaports planned to connect remote islands in PH

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The transportation department is also keen on building and expanding 14 roll-on/roll-off ports across the archipelago. These include San Vicente Roro Port, Maconacon Port, and Palanan Port in northern Luzon; Dilasag Port, Baler Port, Infanta Port and Catanauan Port in eastern Luzon; Cadiz Port, Ajuy Port and San Fernando Port in Central Visayas; Lupon Roro Port and Sta. Ana Roro Port in Mindanao.

Philippine Ports Authority reported that passenger traffic on sea terminals surged by 24 percent to 73.61 million last year from 59.19 million in 2022. However, this was still below the 2019 level of 83.72 million passengers.

TAGS: ferry system, Manila Bay

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