San Miguel seeks to finalize Pasig River expressway, Quezon-Bicol tollway projects with gov't

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 25 2020 05:01 PM

A passenger ferry crosses the Pasig River. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News file photo

MANILA - San Miguel Corp on Tuesday said it hopes to finalize with the government its proposal to build an expressway along the Pasig River, and extend the South Luzon Expressway to Bicol. 

The Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) recently approved the designation of SMC’s proposed projects as toll roads. The government and San Miguel are now discussing the technical, financial, and legal details of a possible concession agreement. 
 
“Hopefully, we will be able to finalize with government and they will find our proposals favorable to the country. In the short to medium term, many of our people need jobs. Among the most affected by the economic impact of COVID-19 are laborers, those who rely on daily wages, and many in the construction industry,” said SMC president and COO Ramon Ang.

The proposed Pasig River Expressway (PAREX) will be a 19.4-kilometer elevated tollway that will traverse the length of the Pasig River from Radial Road 10 in Manila to Circumferential Road 6 in Taguig.

San Miguel said PAREX can be built in 36 months under a 30-year build-operate-transfer scheme. PAREX is expected to reduce travel time between R-10 to C-6 to just 15 minutes and directly connect the western and eastern cities of Metro Manila.

The Quezon to Bicol tollway, dubbed as South Luzon Expressway Tollroad 5 (SLEX-TR5) is a proposed 420-kilometer road between Lucena City and Matnog, Sorsogon. The Lucena City to Gumaca segment of SLEX-TR5, spanning 61 kilometers, was approved as a tollway by regulators. 

Once completed, the whole SLEX-TR5 is expected to reduce travel time from Lucena to Matnog from 9 hours to 5.5 hours, and connect major urban centers in Quezon and Bicol. 

Ang said the company is going ahead with the projects to help stimulate the economy amid the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“These projects will deliver hundreds of thousands of jobs and put money in the hands of the Filipinos—sustaining and boosting our economic recovery, even as we build for a much better future,” said Ang.

Besides the toll roads, Ang said the company is also going ahead with its P734-billion airport project in Bulacan.