MANILA, Philippines — San Miguel Corporation (SMC) has secured a greenlight from the Philippine government for its Pasig River Expressway (PAREX) project, more than a year since it was proposed.
SMC president Ramon Ang said the approval of the project was signified by the signing of the project’s Supplemental Toll Operations Agreement by Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, and Toll Regulatory Board Executive Director Alvin Carullo.
PAREX is a 19.37-km, six-lane elevated road that will run along the banks of the Pasig River — from Radial Road 10 in the City of Manila to C-6 road in Taguig City.
The project will have three major segments – Segment 1 is from R-10 to Plaza Azul, Manila; Segment 2 from Pandacan to C-5, and Segment 3 from C-5 to C6.
PAREX will also connect to, and utilize a 2.7-km. portion of the new Skyway Stage 3 from Nagtahan to Plaza Azul.
“This will be an inclusive, user-centered infrastructure that will integrate various modes of transportation beyond cars. It will have dedicated bike lanes, walkways, a bus rapid transit system, among others,” Ang said.
With the opening of the Skyway 3 earlier this year, Ang said the Skyway system now serves as the seamless link between north and south Metro Manila.
Once operational, PAREX will serve as the east-west connection, linking up with Skyway 3 and SEMME making virtually every major city in Metro Manila accessible via the expressway.
SMC will fully shoulder the P95-billion cost to build PAREX, with no taxpayer or government money used.
Ang also said that PAREX will finally complete the long-envisioned north-south-east-west expressway connectivity for the region.
He added that with SMC’s P2-B Pasig River rehabilitation initiative, it is looking to expand water transport through ferry boats that will link people to cities along the waterfronts of Metro Manila – including Laguna Lake, Pasig River, Manila Bay, Marikina River, among others.
The SMC is tapping architect, environmental planner, and green urbanism advocate Arch. Felino Palafox Jr. to help in building the PAREX project.
“Together with Palafox and Associates, we will build what will be the country’s first sustainable infrastructure, one that will not just be ‘green’, but will have multiple uses and direct environmental, social, and economic benefits to Filipinos,” Ang said.
“PAREX will also be for pedestrians and cyclists. It will not just be for motorized transportation and convenience, but also for maintaining our health and well-being. It will not just ‘beautify’ the surroundings — it will rehabilitate the Pasig River and inspire urban renewal in Metro Manila,” he added.
Ang expressed gratitude to the government for studying the project and “ultimately seeing how it can address traffic congestion and transportation inadequacies” throughout Metro Manila, as well as how it can greatly benefit the environment and improve life in the city.