MANILA, Philippines — Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade on Thursday said a ferry connecting the area of Sangley in Cavite and Manila through Manila Bay can be used if some flights would be transferred to Sangley Airport.
Tugade said he had met with top officials of several airline companies such as Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, and Air Asia, as well as several government officials, following the order of President Rodrigo Duterte to use Sangley Airport for some of the domestic flights to ease congestion at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia).
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“Napagkasunduan po namin na hindi po namin ililimita ang aming direksyon doon sa lupa papunta sa Sangley. Gagamitin po natin ang baybayin natin, Manila Bay, yung dagat,” Tugade said in an interview over radio station DZMM.
Tugade added that he had joined a trial run to check if a ferry is possible.
“Kasi nasubukan ko na po at sinakyan ko na itong posibilidad na ferry operation na kung saan pwedeng baybayin — magbuhat sa MOA (Mall of Asia) hanggang sa Sangley — pwedeng baybayin yun from 12 to 14 minutes to 16 minutes depende sa motor equipment na gagamitin,” Tugade added.
Tugade said that a group of technical personnel had been sent to the area to check where the boarding area for the ferry could be placed. The transportation secretary said they will return to the area for further inspection.
The transportation secretary added non-airport commuters who simply want to use the ferry to avoid the traffic can also avail of the services.
“Ang perspektiba kasi natin, pag sinabing Sangley Airport, ‘saan mo idadaan yan, may right of way yan?’, pero lawak po ng Bay, doon ko idadaan yan,” Tugade said.
Asked if the ferry will serve as a separate commercial entity or a part of airport operations, Tugade said: “Ang sabi ng Philippine Airlines mayroon silang sariling ferry na kung saan pwede mag-byahe ng 10 minutes. Pwede nilang gamitin para sa pasahero [kung may] pangangalilangan ng Philippine Airlines or pwedeng i-open sa public.”
He added: “Sabi ko sa kanila, kung gagamitin yan, kailangang walang konsepto na tinatawag nating exclusive. Kung may bang operator, bigyan sila ng pagkakataon at pumayag din naman po sila.”
During the meeting, Tugade said the officials also agreed to have a pledge of commitment and support in a move to decongest Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminals 1, 2, 3, and 4.
“Gagamitin ang Sangley bilang isang airport kung saan yung tinatawag na general aviation at kung saan yung tinatawag na cargo freight using turboprop ay maililipat doon bago matapos ang taon na to,” Tugade said./ac
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