San Miguel Corp. expressed hope that Palafox and Associates will help them build the Pasig River Expressway project amid issues raised by some environmental and conservation advocates.
“Architect Palafox is one of the master-planners of one of our major projects and in our regular meetings with him, he has expressed strong belief in the need to increase accessibility between the eastern and western corridors of Metro Manila as part of a broader strategy towards decongesting Metro Manila, and easing the many negative impacts of traffic,” SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang said.
“There is no formal engagement with Arch. Palafox, but we have been in discussion, something that we have been very clear from the start–that we want him to help us do PAREX right,” he said.
Ang’s statement came after urban planner Felino Palafox denied he signed an agreement with SMC to help the company build PAREX.
“We’ve come to learn from him, however, forces critical of the project have been exerting pressure on him, his associates and his family to drop the project. We believe this is part of an orchestrated and continuing demolition job to paint the project as the opposite of what it truly is,” Ang said.
“We express our full support and confidence on Arch. Palafox and his team, whom we see can help us level up Philippine infrastructure to benefit people, the economy, and the environment,” he said.
“With the project now formally approved by government, we can move forward with engaging design consultants and working on the detailed design,” Ang said.
SMC is investing P2 billion to clean up the Pasig River and integrate a bus rapid transit system, bicycle lanes and pedestrian walkways in the project.
“Our track record of initiatives speak for itself. San Miguel today is perhaps one of the most invested and committed in terms of nation-building, improving the lives of Filipinos, and saving the environment,” Ang said.
“Of the many projects being done today to narrow our infrastructure deficit, PAREX stands out as a long-term, inclusive, and sustainable solution to traffic congestion, flooding, public transport inadequacies, and decades of Pasig River pollution,” he said.