Though many groups and individuals have voiced their opposition to the establishment of the Pasig River Expressway (PAREX), SMC’s resolve remains steadfast and unshaken. 

In fact, it only made the conglomerate more committed to realizing the ambitious infrastructure project in “a safe, reliable, and sustainable” approach. 

“In all our major infrastructure projects, we always take into consideration the effects on the environment, putting greater emphasis on how we can build the infrastructure while at the same time preserve or enhance the environment,” SMC President and CEO Ramon Ang assured. 

Ang said it will be collaborating with local communities and stakeholders to ensure that environmental measures will be followed and implemented to the tee. 

“We engage all stakeholders and in particular, partner with local communities to ensure environmental measures and mitigations are successful for the long-term,” he stressed. 

To make this possible, SMC has enlisted the expertise of the country’s top urban planner and green architect Felino Palafox Jr. through his firm Palafox Associates. 

“We share the vision of SMC and Mr. Ramon S. Ang for sustainable infrastructure. For many decades we have been emphasizing green architecture and green urbanism in our projects in the Philippines and abroad,” Palafox shared. 

“For the PAREX project, our approach will be the same, we are designing not just infrastructure, but an urban landscape. We are promoting sustainability through architecture, with a holistic vision,” he added.

Once finished, PAREX, which will span a total of 19.37 kilometers, will connect the eastern and western sections of Metro Manila–from Rizal province to the city of Manila. 

It will complement SMC’s P2-billion, five-year rehabilitation effort of the Pasig River, which it undertook in response to the government’s call for the private sector to help clean major tributaries in the metro to hasten the Manila Bay rehabilitation project that began in 2019.

Besides the road project, Ang also disclosed plans of putting up a Bus Rapid Transit on PAREX that will link to the existing Skyway system, completing the north-to-south and east-to-west connection throughout Metro Manila.

SMC said this will significantly improve traffic in the area and will offer “faster, more reliable, safer, comfortable, and affordable commutes” to Filipinos. 

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Image credit:  SMC’s Official Website