By Armie B. Gunay
NAGA CITY --- River transport, whether for conveyance or pleasure, formally started operation last Monday, June 25, following the approval of City Ordinance No. 2017- 092 which gave the green light for the operation of Naga River transport and prescribing fare rate at P5 per passenger per route.
Passenger boats will be available from Monday to Sunday, at 6:00 o’clock to 9:00 o’clock in the morning to 4:00 to 6:00 o’clock in the afternoon.
Two tourist boats, MV Peñafrancia and MV Divino Rostro, with an estimated seats for 20 passengers each -- individually provided with safety harness – are made available by the city government for the water transport system.
In between the scheduled travel route, the boats are open for rent for those who may want to tour the Naga River at P1,500 per hour.
The river transport is also seen as an alternative route for students and early market shoppers who want to avoid rush-hour traffic along the city inland roads. It is estimated to take fewer minutes to cover the Naga City People’s Mall (public market) to Magsaysay wharf route, passing by the Panganiban and Colgante wharfs, and vice versa.
Engr. Joel Martin explained that boat fare to be collected will be used in the maintenance and other operational expenses of the water transportation facility.
Reliving water transportation along the river is also seen as a judicious way of promoting cleanliness along the river and inculcating discipline among those residents along the river banks by reminding them with appropriate penalties to avoid throwing their wastes and garbage into the river.
The presence of fish-eating birds gliding and maneuvering along the Naga River indicates improvement in the quality of the Naga River water.