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Make it work

By Dr. Ramon Ricardo A. Roque, CESOI, Diplomate

Will the Pasig River Ferry Convergence Program of the Duterte Administration work unlike the failed efforts of the past administrations?

Will the operations of the Pasig River ferry system be a financially feasible venture for a private business organization even if most, if not all, of the infrastructure requirements of the system will be provided by the government?

Of course, one crucial factor is the demand side of the business equation. Will the availability of a comfortable, predictable, reliable and competitively priced ferry service supply guaranty a demand that will make the operations of the system profitable?

It looks like the Pasig River ferry system is not a case of “build-it-and-they-will-come” phenomenon.

The Duterte Administration needs to face and admit the fact that the Pasig River stinks.

It is this “character” of Pasig River that made the efforts of past administration in tapping its potentials fail.

The Pasig River Ferry Convergence Program of the Duterte Administration needs to be completed by a massive clean-up and maintenance program for Pasig River.

If President Duterte branded Boracay island a “cesspool,” what brand is appropriate for Pasig River that is in a sorrier state?

The rehabilitation of the ferry system can only work if Pasig River itself will be rehabilitated as well.

Not even air-conditioned ferry boats can make the system attractive to passengers because the same cannot fully protect them from the foul odor that the river emits.

Even if we discount the odor factor, trashes that are abundant in Pasig River will surely cause problems on the mechanical functioning of the ferry boats.

In addition to the value of the environmental rehabilitation of Pasig River to the ferry system, the same is a responsibility that the government should own given its role in our society.

We hope that President Duterte will have the same resolve and political will in rehabilitating Pasig River like what he had and used in rehabilitating Boracay.

It’s time that those violating environmental laws and in effect destroying Pasig River are made to account for their crime and suffer the consequences of the same.

If the rehabilitation of Pasig River is what will make the Pasig River ferry system work, the strong resolve and political will of President Duterte and his Administration are what will make the rehabilitation of Pasig River work.