Only medical frontliners, gov't workers to get free ferry ride during MECQ

The operations of the Pasig River Ferry Service (PRFS) will push through on Aug. 4, but with the reversion to the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) status of the National Capital Region (NCR), it will only cater to medical frontliners and government employees.

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said this is in support of their need for transportation for frontliners.

Under MECQ, no public transportation will be available to commuters. On Sunday (Aug. 2) the government decided to reimpose MECQ in the NCR because of the appeal of overworked health workers for a respite due to the ballooning number of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in the country.

Free ferry rides will be available at the following stations:  Pinagbuhatan, San Joaquin, Guadalupe, Valenzuela, Lawton, and Escolta to convey health workers and government employees reporting for work.

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

According to MMDA, medical frontliners and government employees only need to present their valid identification cards to avail of the free rides from Monday to Saturday, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

"We hope that this effort will be helpful for our health workers and government employees in their transportation needs going to their respective workplaces,” MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim said.

To ensure the safety of frontliners, the PRFS will implement the following health and safety protocols:

•          No mask, no entry;

•          Physical distancing shall be observed at all times;

•      Passengers with colds, cough, or body temperature greater than 37.5 degrees Celsius will not be allowed to enter the PRFS premises; and

•          Only persons aged 21-59 years old will be allowed to board ferry boats.

Moreover, the temperature of the frontliners will be taken at the ferry station. Passengers must fill out the manifest form and accomplish the commuter information sheet, the agency said.