San Miguel Corp. on Tuesday signed a supplemental toll operation agreement with the Transportation and the Public Works departments for the construction of the P95-billion Pasig River Expressway—an elevated hybrid highway that will stretch 19.37 kilometers along the banks of Pasig River from Manila to Taguig.
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said in a virtual briefing the PAREx project was expected to decongest traffic in Metro Manila and help the economy rebound from the global pandemic.
“It’s a game-changer project that could further boost our economy,” he said.
San Miguel president Ramon Ang said the project would generate between 50,000 and 200,000 jobs. He said San Miguel would fully shoulder the P95-billion cost to build PAREX, with no taxpayer or government money used.
“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.
Ang said San Miguel would tap internationally-renowned architect, environment planner and green urbanism advocate Arch. Felino Palafox Jr. to help design 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.
The PAREX will have three major segments. Segment 1 would run 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.
Ang said the interconnected PAREX and Skyway would be critical to improving how the public commutes in Metro Manila.
San Miguel earlier announced plan to put up a bus rapid transit system on Skyway and said it would also establish one on PAREX to provide commuters faster, more convenient and reliable alternative transportation to different points in Metro Manila.
“The BRT system has always been one of our long-term plans for our elevated expressways. This will allow even more Filipinos to use and benefit from our new elevated expressways and significantly reduce traffic on our public roads,” Ang said.
Ang said with the PAREX offering both a faster way to drive or commute around Metro Manila, the project could fulfill one of its major environmental goals—that of lowering the amount of harmful emissions released into the air when vehicles are stuck for hours in heavy traffic.
“Just imagine the amount of vehicle pollution we will avoid if trips that usually take two-to-three hours—including long stretches where cars are just idling in traffic—will take only 30 minutes. Also, with a BRT system, many vehicle owners will no longer find the need to drive their own cars—further lessening pollution,” Ang said.
Ang said the project was expected to be completed in five years.
PAREx, which will start from Radial Road 10 in Manila and end at a connection to the South East Metro Manila Expressway, otherwise known as Circumferential Road 6, is seen to reduce travel time from Manila to Rizal to just 15 minutes.
From R10, or the Port Area, it will have entry and exit points at the University Belt area, San Juan, Buendia, Mandaluyong, Makati, Rockwell, Edsa, Pioneer St., Bonifacio Global City, C5, before terminating at C6.
It is seen to provide an alternative and faster access to the country’s largest business districts—Makati, Ortigas and Fort Bonifacio.
Along with the PAREX project, SMC is also proposing to build the 420-kilometer, four-lane South Luzon Expressway Toll Road 5 project which extends the SLEX and SLEX-TR4 project from Lucena, Quezon to Matnog, Sorsogon.
Both projects are under a proposed built-operate-transfer scheme for a concession of just 30 years, after which, government takes over the vital infrastructure assets.
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