San Miguel Corporation (SMC) made headlines last week when the company announced that the government has greenlit its ambitious Pasig River Expressway (PAREX) project. Measuring a total of 19.37-km, the elevated expressway is set to link the eastern and western corridors of Metro Manila, and will have provisions for a bus rapid transit (BRT) system, as well as dedicated bicycle lanes.
Then just a few days after the government gave SMC the go-ahead, company boss Ramon S. Ang together with members of the government, held a groundbreaking ceremony of the upcoming expressway in Pandacan, Manila last September 23, 2021. With SMC looking to get started on the project right away, Ang plans to have the PAREX project done on or before 2027.
But it looks like the project has already hit a snag before the company can even start working on it. Palafox Associates, the company which Ang claims will help them build the 19.37-km expressway, recently announced that they are not part of the PAREX project. In a recent post on their Facebook page, Palafox Associates clarified that there has yet to be a formalized agreement between the two entities to work together on PAREX.
“While it is true that San Miguel Corporation (SMC) and Mr. Ramon Ang have reached out to our principal architect and urban planner Felino “Jun” Palafox, Jr. to introduce green architecture and green urbanism principles in SMC infrastructure projects, this has never been formalized specifically for the PAREX project,” said the architectural firm.
Palafox Associates also shared that before proceeding with any project, key aspects must be taken into account and assessed in order to make sure that it can be done safely and without any harmful implications.
“Our firm remains strong with our stand that public and private sectors must work together in addressing this climate crisis through multisectoral sustainable development. This means that all economic, social, health, and environmental aspects musts be carefully assessed before proceeding with any project,” said Palafox in its statement.
While they did not say it explicitly, it seems Palafox may be hesitant about the environmental implications of the said expressway. Sure, SMC has been busy rehabilitating the Pasig River in order to have it ready for the construction of PAREX, how the expressway will affect the river in the long run needs thorough study.
SMC has yet to release an official statement in reaction to the Palafox clarification.
How much of an effect will PAREX help in alleviating Metro Manila traffic? And do you think it will impact the enviroment?