After connecting north and south of Metro Manila with Skyway 3, San Miguel Corporation has begun the spadework for another big-buck road infrastructure that will link east and west of the metropolis.
In the presence of President Rodrigo Duterte and his economic team, SMC president Ramon S. Ang gave the teaser to the new project during the formal opening of the Skyway Stage 3 expressway on January 14, promising to be a game-changer that would boost mobility and fire up the country’s post-pandemic recovery.
“This is a game-changer for our economy, especially now that we are still dealing with the pandemic. By providing seamless access between north and south, we also unlock the true potential of our provinces,” Ang said.
The SMC head honcho committed to Duterte that SMC’s efforts to help the country and the economy, will not stop with the Skyway Stage 3 project.
“We will continue work to further decongest Metro Manila by linking east and west of the metropolis, through the Pasig River Expressway (Parex) project,”Ang said.
The Parex project envisions a 19.4-kilometer, six-lane elevated expressway along the banks of the Pasig River that will complete the north-south, east-west link, connecting R-10 in Manila, Edsa, and C5 and decongesting Rizal, Cainta, and Marikina. It will provide faster, alternative access to the business districts Makati, Ortigas, and BGC. The project can be completed by 2023, Ang said.
The seven- lane Skyway 3, meanwhile, offers a seamless link between the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) via 18 kilometers of elevated toll road, the longest in the country. It is also expected to significantly decongest EDSA and other major Metro Manila roads.
Duterte was joined by Executive secretary Salvador Medialdea, finance secretary Carlos Dominguez, public Works and highways Secretary Mark Villar, transportation secretary Arthur Tugade, budget and management secretary Wendel Avisado, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque and National Task Force against COVID-19 deputy chief implementer Vince Dizon.
Ang credited President Duterte for his strong leadership and political will, which he said played a significant role in settling right-of-way issues that delayed the massive infrastructure project for years.
With the full opening of all seven lanes of the 18-kilometer Skyway 3 from Buendia, Makati to NLEX, ang Ang said that a huge number motorists will now have an alternative to EDSA.
At full capacity, with 7 lanes available, Skyway is touted to handle 50% of Edsa traffic, or 200,000 vehicles per day. Together with the existing Skyway 1 and 2, the Skyway system now has 38 kilometers of elevated expressway with 36 on- and off-ramp access points. This will greatly contribute to decongesting Metro Manila traffic, Ang noted.
Another SMC project, the Bulacan airport was estimated to generate 30 million direct and indirect jobs, Ang said.
“All of these, Mr. President, will solve our decades-long problem of land and air traffic congestion. Together, we are building the foundation for future economic growth that’s inclusive and sustainable. We are also investing in many other industries across the regions, from food and beverage production, agriculture, power security and soon, renewable energy. This is the best way we can meaningfully contribute to nation-building. We are committed to sustainably re-invest what we have, create more business opportunities, generate more jobs, and spread growth across the archipelago.
Ang, who was celebrating his birthday, also dispelled speculation that he was eyeing a political run. “Perhaps because of our company’s efforts to help our country, many are thinking I am planning to enter politics. I have no such ambition. All these projects we’ve completed, and all the new ones we’re about to start, are part of our long-term vision we first articulated more than a decade ago, when we said we wanted to be a true partner in nation-building,” Ang said.
“We have always believed that SMC can do a lot to help our country, by investing in industries and sectors that will accelerate its growth. We love our country, it’s the only one we have, so we should all do what we can to lift it up and help Filipinos. This pandemic has only made that commitment deeper and stronger.”
Ang also cited DPWH Secretary Villar and Metro Pacific Tollways Group, operator of the NLEX, and business tycoon Manny V. Pangilinan, for making possible the extension of the original endpoint of Skyway 3, to just before the NLEX toll plaza.Finally, we now have a seamless connection between SLEX and NLEX. “I thank Secretary Villar and the MVP group led by Mr. Pangilinan for making this direct link to NLEX possible.”
Ang also paid tribute to the engineers and workers who worked on Skyway 3, and all stakeholders who helped make the project a reality.
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