MANILA - San Miguel Corp said it will continue rehabilitating the Pasig River “with or without” the controversial tollway it has proposed to build.
San Miguel said its P2-billion Pasig River cleanup “is part of the much larger goal of SMC to clean up all the major waterways in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.”
“With or without the PAREX project, we will continue to clean the Pasig River. Water sustainability has been our advocacy within the company for many years now,” said SMC president and CEO Ramon Ang.
The SMC chief said noted that they are also dredging the Tullahan River.
With government’s support and cooperation from stakeholders, we hope to bring the Pasig River back to a level where it can be enjoyed by more Filipinos,” Ang said.
SMC got the greenlight to build PAREX, or the Pasig River Expressway last month after signing an agreement with various government agencies.
PAREX will be a 19.4-kilometer, six-lane elevated expressway along the banks of Metro Manila’s biggest river. It is expected to reduce travel time between the Eastern and Western sections of Metro Manila.
The project however has come under fore from environmentalists and heritage advocates. Opponents of the project say that instead of solving the capital region’s traffic problems, PAREX will only worsen it by inducing more people to use their cars.
They say the tollway will also worsen air pollution in the areas it will pass, and may affect heritage sites along the river.
Ang however has said that PAREX will incorporate bicycle and pedestrian lanes, as well as a bus rapid transit system for those without cars. He also denied that the tollway will impact heritage sites.