MANILA, Philippines – Real estate developer Ayala Land is looking at the possible re-introduction of ferries along, and the rehabilitation of, the Pasig River to ease traffic within the city.
Ayala Land recently launched its P20-billion development plan for Circuit Makati at the site of the former Sta. Ana Race Track, located along the southern bank of the Pasig River. A ferry service is being considered as an alternate entry point into the development.
Circuit Makati will transform the former center of horseracing in the country into one of the 6 Makati districts as part of a 5-year P60-billion plan, and will feature an indoor theatre, outdoor recreation areas, a football field, skate park, as well as commercial, retail, and residential development.
“We would, at a certain point, like to have a way which the river can be rehabilitated and provide the alternative mode of transportation between Manila and Makati and all the river towns, including Laguna Lake Town," Ayala Land president Antonino Aquino told a press briefing on January 11.
"It would be another great way we could improve land-based traffic problems,” he said. “We don’t have a specific plan at the moment but those are the possibilities of the future we would like to look at."
Pasig River rehab
According to Meean Dy, the vice president of the Strategic Landbank Management Group, Ayala Land, the Department of Transportation (DOT) has already asked for their thoughts on such concept. "We’re very supportive of [it]. It’s something going on in the future as the river rehabilitates."
"We think certain segments of the river are already quite healthy but [mostly these are] in the upstream. We need to make sure both up and downstream is in a certain health in order to be successful,” she said.
The Pasig River used to run a ferry service which cruised from Barangay Pinagbuhatan in Pasig City to Intramuros in Manila City. The system was owned and operated by SCC Nautical Transport Services Incorporated. Services were suspended indefinitely in February 2011 due to losses. Passenger number was low due to the high pollution of the river.
The Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC) is now active in the rehabilitation of the river.
“We’re very happy about how the government is rehabilitating the river in terms improving the river quality. I have myself gone through the river and I have not seen it to be this good. I think the government is continuing to pursue programs to improve it,” said Aquino.
Ayala Land, the property subsidiary of the country's oldest conglomerate, the Ayala Corp., is working closely with the government to make sure there is good connectivity between the new development and the rest of Makati.
“Inter-connectivity is very important for the development so it will be very well connected to the CBD (central business district) through various modes of transportation,” said Dy.
“The location of the development is right at the tip of Ayala Avenue so we have been working closely with the local government in terms of improving the access road,” she added.
Dy said they were also considering an extension line that will extend from Ayala Avenue and terminate in Circuit Makati.
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