Despite it being reserved for their use under the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ), no medical health worker and government employee availed of the free Pasig River Ferry Service (PRFS) that resumed operation today (Aug. 4), Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) spokesperson Assistant Secretary Celine Pialago said.
As of 3 p.m. today, nobody took advantage of the free rides offered by the PRFS which aims to transport health workers and government employees during MECQ, under which public transportation is unavailable.
“Sadly, nobody rode as of 3 p.m., zero. Despite this, we are still optimistic that our health workers and government employees will use it. This is just the first day,” Pialago said.
The MMDA spokesperson urged health workers and government employees to ride the ferries during the MECQ.
“Our ferries are here for you. You do not have to pay anything. Just present your identification card and you will be allowed to ride,” she said.
Pialago clarified that health care workers include hospital personnel such as garbage collectors and canteen staff. “The free ride of the PRFS is not only limited to doctors and nurses, even garbage collectors of hospitals are also allowed to ride our ferries free. They are frontliners, too.”
Pialago said the free ferry rides are available at Pinagbuhatan, San Joaquin, Guadalupe, Valenzuela, Lawton, and Escolta stations, plying the routes Pinagbuhatan to Guadalupe, Guadalupe to Escolta and vice versa, and Guadalupe to San Joaquin and vice versa.
Healthcare workers and government employees only need to present their valid identification cards to avail of the free rides from Monday to Saturday, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The PRFS is implementing the following health and safety protocols at the ferries:
• No mask, no entry;
• Physical distancing shall be observed at all times;
• Passengers who have colds, cough, or body temperature higher 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.