The Pasig River Ferry Service (PRFS) will resume partial operations starting Monday (Aug. 3) at a reduced capacity in compliance with the required health and safety guidelines amid the pandemic.
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) announced Friday (July 31) that six ferry stations—Pinagbuhatan, San Joaquin, Guadalupe, Valenzuela, Lawton, and Escolta—will initially start to operate next week.
“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, ” MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim said in a statement.
The ferry service will operate from Mondays to Saturdays, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Only 50 percent of the total capacity of passengers will be allowed in accordance with the guidelines of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
The MMDA said the available trip routes are Pinagbuhatan to Guadalupe, Guadalupe to Escolta and vice versa, and Guadalupe to San Joaquin and vice versa.
Before the resumption of the ferry operations, all ferry stations and boats, including the docking and maintenance facilities, were disinfected.
Floor markings, stickers, and posters were also installed at the ferry station to guide the passengers in observing physical distancing.
“We look forward to serving our passengers, compliant with the physical distancing policy and other health protocols to ensure their safety,” Lim said.
MMDA Deputy Chairman and ferry service head Frisco San Juan Jr. said they will implement a “no mask, no entry” policy, and strict observance of physical distancing.
Only persons aged 21 to 59 years old will be allowed to board the ferry boats. Passengers are required to undergo temperature checks upon entry. Those experiencing colds, cough, or have a body temperature of over 37.5 degrees will be denied entry.
Passengers will be requested to fill up a manifest form and commuter information sheet for contract tracing purposes.
“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 refused to undergo those procedures,” San Juan said.
The operations of the ferry service have been temporarily suspended since March 17 following the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon amid the spread of COVID-19.