PAREX project not canceled, still under review

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Design study from Palafox Associates for an elevated expressway along the Pasig River. Image from San Miguel Corp.
  • The Pasig River Expressway project is under review and not completely canceled as earlier reported
  • The project is undergoing detailed study to assess its environmental impact and address public concerns
  • San Miguel Corp. said its chairman and chief executive officer Ramon Ang “did not state that the company is dropping the project” but rather mentioned that it has not been pursued due to opposition from some groups
  • SMC said it is “carefully evaluating and will weigh the needs and concerns” of the opposing views on the project
  • Toll Regulatory Board executive director Alvin Carullo said SMC has written the Board that they will comply with environmental clearance certificate requirements

The Pasig River Expressway (PAREX) project is under review and not canceled as earlier widely reported.

The project is undergoing detailed study by Pasig River Expressway Corp. (PAREX Corp.) to assess its environmental impact and address public concerns, San Miguel Corp. (SMC) clarified this week.

San Miguel Corp. (SMC) said the project is currently on hold and not officially cancelled. PAREX Corp. is a subsidiary of San Miguel Holdings Corp. and is wholly-owned by SMC.

In a regulatory disclosure on June 24, SMC said its chairman and chief executive officer Ramon Ang “did not state that the company is dropping the project” but rather mentioned that it has not been pursued due to opposition from some groups.

The clarification was issued after Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) executive director Alvin Carullo recently told media that SMC is “not abandoning the project” and that it is still a “live project.” Carullo said SMC has written the TRB that they will comply with the requirements vis-a-vis environmental clearance certificate.

“To reiterate, the PAREX project is currently on hold, not officially cancelled,” SMC said in its disclosure.

It pointed out that as a public-private partnership, the project is governed by a binding agreement with the government, and terminating the agreement will involve a detailed legal process.

SMC said it values public sentiment and has “consistently emphasized that if the majority believes the project is not beneficial, it will not proceed.”

It noted, however, that despite “some opposition, there is significant support from residents in Rizal and eastern Metro Manila who see the project’s potential benefits in improved transportation and economic opportunities.”

SMC said they are “carefully evaluating and will weigh the needs and concerns” of the opposing views on the project.

The PAREX study, as well as the concept submitted to the TRB for integrating a bus rapid transit system, bicycle lanes, and pedestrian walkways, are part of SMC’s compliance process for the project.

The P95-billion 19.37-kilometer (km) PAREX will be a six-lane elevated expressway that will run along the banks of the river, from Radial Road 10 (R-10) in Manila to C-6 Road, or the South East Metro Manila Expressway, in Taguig.

The project broke ground in September 2021 after it was greenlighted by the government through the signing of a supplemental toll operations agreement on the same month. The project, however, has faced opposition from various groups due to environmental concerns.

Once operational, PAREX will link the eastern and western cities of Metro Manila and will connect to the Skyway system.