SMC reaffirms commitment to build PAREX sustainably, reports gains in Pasig River cleanup initiative
by Philippine Resources - March 28, 2022
Photo credit: San Miguel Corporation - Design study from Palafox Associates for an elevated expressway along the Pasig River, incorporating dedicated bus lanes and pedestrian and bicycle lanes
San Miguel Corporation (SMC) has reaffirmed its commitment to build the Pasig River Expressway (PAREX) as a safe, reliable and sustainable infrastructure crucial for an inclusive recovery and growth beyond the pandemic.
SMC President and CEO Ramon S. Ang said that building the 19.37-kilometer road that will link the eastern and western sections of Metro Manila--from Rizal province to the City of Manila--will complement its P2 billion, five-year rehabilitation effort for the historic tributary that already started in July last year to mitigate its impact on the environment.
“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. We engage all stakeholders and in particular, partner with local communities to ensure environmental measures and mitigations are successful for the long-term,” Ang said.
PAREX will be a hybrid infrastructure that can be used by motorists, public transport, cyclists, and pedestrians, to further enhance accessibility and traffic decongestion, while encouraging multiple modes of transportion. It’s design will also incorporate green architecture principles.
Ang bared that the country’s top urban planner and green architect, Arch. Felino “Jun” Palafox Jr., through his firm, Palafox Associates, has signed on to help with the sustainable design for the project.
“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. 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,” said Palafox.
“Mr. Ang already has so many good ideas, including incorporating green modes of transportation. Our job is make sure these ideas--pedestrian pathways, bicycle highways, landscaped planting strip, public transport, are integrated seamlessly into the PAREX,” he added.
“We believe that if done right and in line with sustainability and green architecture principles, the PAREX will be a model road infrastructure that further democratizes the benefits and convenience of infrastructure. These are the types of infrastructure we will need in the future--adaptable to the growing and changing needs of our people,” Ang said.
He also touted plans to put up a Bus Rapid Transit on the PAREX and the existing Skyway system, which will interconnect, completing the north-to-south and east-to-west connection throughout Metro Manila.
This, he said, will enable faster, more reliable, safer, comfortable and affordable commutes for many Filipinos. Ang said that with this, people will spend lesser time spent stand-still traffic, which exacerbates pollution.
Meanwhile, the chief executive reported that its ongoing Pasig River clean-up initiative has also ready yielded some 295,260 metric tons of silt and solid waste since it started middle of last year.
SMC maintains its target daily output of at least 2,000 metric tons of waste, to meet the monthly target of at least 50,000 metric tons, for a total of 600,000 metric tons extracted every year.
Ang said that the company’s ongoing rehabilitation effort is in response to government’s call for the private sector to help clean major tributaries in line with Manila Bay rehabilitation project that began in 2019.
“The government, led by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, has done an excellent job in rehabilitating the Pasig River in recent years. We are helping take these efforts to next level, by deepening and widening the river, to enable it to carry more floodwaters, especially during rainy season. Through this, we will reduce incidences of severe flooding that has affected many cities located near the Pasig River,” he added.
Ang emphasized: “Rehabilitating the river does not only involve dredging and removing visible wastes especially plastics that eventually go to the sea. It is only part of the solution. What is needed isa more a holistic approach, which will involve building a sewage system that would prevent it from being the dumping area of industrial and solid wastes.”
“We are committed clean the Pasig River and we are happy that more and more people see its value. In particular, NYK of Japan has joined our efforts and committed $1.2 million worth of equipment and we expect the equipment to arrive by April,” Ang said.
Ang said that as of now, two shallow portions of the river are the primary focus. These are the mouth of river near the Manila Bay, and the area at the Marikina River junction.
“We’re also prioritizing the Marikina River junction as this section acts as sort of. a bottleneck, where water flowing from the Marikina river is restricted , therefore becoming a partial cause of the massive flooding in areas upstream of the Marikina river,” Ang said.
Dredging the Marikina River section can also help reduce the peak water flows that normally go into the Laguna Lake through the Manggahan Floodway, and reduce flooding experienced by many lakeside towns in Rizal and Laguna provinces, Ang said.
Ang added that thus far, SMC has made significant progress in deepening portions of the Pasig River, particularly sections of the river in Pandacan/Sta.Mesa, Paco/San Miguel area. According to hydrographic or depth surveys before and after dredging, sections that only measure two to three meters in depth are now more than five to six meters deep.
“We are confident that in the coming rainy seasons, the increased capacity of the river will reduce flooding in many areas in Pasig, Makati, Mandaluyong, and Manila. And if ever these will be flooding, it can quickly subside in just a few hours,” Ang said.
“This was our experience in the ongoing Tullahan River rehabilitation. To date, our extraction output there has reached 825,142 metric tons and with more personnel and equipment, we expect to hit the one-million mark before or by June this year. According to feedback from local government units, including Valenzuela, flooding has subsided faster than usual in their areas,”said Ang about the P1-billion Tullahan River rehabilitation effort that started in June 2020.
Article courtesy of San Miguel Corporation
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Philippine Resources - July 16, 2021
Duterte Opens New Expressway in Central Luzon
Motorists will now be able to use the first 18-kilometer portion of the Central Luzon Link Expressway (CLLEX) from SCTEX/TPLEX connection in Tarlac City up to the intersection of Aliaga-Guimba Road in Aliaga, Nueva Ecija. President Rodrigo Duterte, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar, Senator Bong Go, and Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Kazuhiko Koshikawa led on Thursday the inauguration ceremony of the four lanes toll-free expressway project connecting the provinces of Tarlac and Nueva Ecija. The initial part of CLLEX that will be opened are the following sections covered by three contract packages: 4.10 kilometer Tarlac Section, 6.40 kilometer Rio Chico River Bridge Section including the 1.5 kilometer Rio Chico Viaduct, and Aliaga Section with up and down ramps at Guimba-Aliaga Road. This new highway project was implemented by DPWH Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) led by Undersecretary Emil Sadain and Project Director Benjamin Bautista of UPMO Roads Management Cluster 1 (Bilateral) who have worked double-time to deliver the completion of this project. CLLEX is among the key infrastructure projects with funding assistance from the Government of Japan thru the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in support of the Build, Build, Build program. The entire 30-kilometer expressway project is expected to shorten the usual travel time of 70 minutes between Tarlac City and Cabanatuan City to just 20 minutes. More than just scenic views experienced while you drive and visit the stunning places in Central Luzon, this new highway will help ensure the Philippines’ sustainability and development by addressing barriers in distance and mobility. The Build, Build, Build program continues to deliver its promise of creating infrastructure that improves the lives of Filipinos in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic and other challenges. While Build, Build, Build continued to make progress, it is also setting up the foundation in terms of infrastructure for the next generation.
Philippine Resources - July 16, 2021
Duterte: New Tarlac-Cabanatuan Expressway to Boost PH Economy
By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos
Philippine Resources - June 09, 2021
CLLEX up to Aliaga will open this July
Photo Credit: Department of Public Works and Highways Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark A. Villar expressed confidence that the Central Luzon Link Expressway (CLLEX) will be an efficient alternate route for the motoring public going to Nueva Ecija when it opens next month. Despite work slowdown due to the pandemic, the first 18-kilometer segment of CLLEX will be of service to motorists from SCTEX/TPLEX connection in Tarlac City up to the intersection of Aliaga-Guimba Road in Aliaga, Nueva Ecija this July 2021, declared Secretary Villar. Secretary Villar said that contract packages 1 and 2 covering Tarlac Section and Rio Chico River Bridge Section having a combined length of 10.5 kilometers are already completed while construction of 9.2 kilometers contract package 3 - Aliaga Section is 87 percent finished. Secretary Villar together with Undersecretary for Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations Emil K. Sadain and Region 3 Director Roseller Tolentino personally checked on Tuesday, June 8, 2021 the project’s progress which already has an overall accomplishment of 94 percent, making sure that the road is built with quality construction materials and specifications. Construction of the ₱11.811 Billion road project funded by loan with Japan International Cooperation Agency is implemented by UPMO-Roads Management Cluster 1 headed by OIC Project Director Benjamin C. Bautista. In his report to Secretary Villar, Undersecretary Sadain said that the delivery of right of way (ROW) requirements are being fast-tracked, with the assistance of the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) for expropriation complaints and other ROW-related cases. “We are hopeful that we will finally secure full site possession of the remaining required ROW to allow our construction activities to go on full throttle”, added Undersecretary Sadain. Expropriation proceedings with the appropriate court were initiated for properties whose owners were unable to grant the request to donate or accept price offer for negotiated sale within a given timeframe. More available ROW and favorable weather conditions will enable DPWH to catch up and finish the 10.3-kilometer Contract Package 4 - Cabanatuan Section which is now 88 percent completed. Meanwhile, the Zaragoza Interchange Section under Contract Package 5 is at 26 percent which involves construction of 113 meters Zaragoza Interchange Bridge, 4.88 kilometers access road, two (2) pre-stressed concrete deck girder bridge with a total length of 19.4 meters, five (5) reinforced concrete box culverts for equalizer and farm passage, and seven (7) irrigation canals. Once fully completed, the 30-kilometer CLLEX will shorten the usual travel time of 70 minutes between Tarlac City and Cabanatuan City to just 20 minutes. This new expressway will also form an important east-west link for the expressway network of Central Luzon to ensure a continuous seamless traffic flow for the motoring public from Metro Manila and vice versa passing thru NLEX, SCTEX/TPLEX. Article Courtesy of the Department of Public Works and Highways
Philippine Resources - May 26, 2022
Legal framework needed for gov’t to invest in nuclear power plant
Department of Energy (DOE) Undersecretary Gerardo Erguiza Jr. said there is a need to amend the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) to enable the government to invest in nuclear power plants. This, as the incoming administration has expressed its support in considering a nuclear power plant to be part of the country’s energy mix. “As of now, the government does not have the ability to put up conventional nuclear power plant because the National Power Corp. does not have mandate on this,” Erguiza said in Filipino during the Laging Handa public briefing Wednesday. With the privatization of the power sector under the EPIRA, the government could not enter into power generation. “But we can align together, with the drafting or putting up of the regulatory framework, we can amend our laws to include the government among those that can fund a nuclear power plant,” he added. Erguiza said that based on studies of the Korean Hydro Nuclear Power Company of South Korea and ROSATOM of Russia, they have found out that the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) can still be rehabilitated. According to ROSATOM, an investment of around USD3 billion to USD4 billion is needed to revive the BNPP. Presumptive President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. earlier mentioned that part of his energy agenda is to revive the BNPP to become an additional source of clean and cheap power. On the other hand, Erguiza said the government can invest in power generation using small modular reactors, the latest nuclear energy technology, in missionary areas that are not connected to the grid.
Philippine Resources - May 26, 2022
Dutch gov’t backs SMC, Boskalis in P740 billion Bulacan Airport project
Photo credit: Palafox Dutch gov’t backs SMC, Boskalis in P740 billion Bulacan Airport project San Miguel Corporation (SMC) received its strongest support yet for its game-changing P740-billion New Manila International Airport (NMIA) project in Bulacan following the approval of the Dutch government of an export credit insurance (ECI) for the project’s land development phase. The approval comes after over a year of rigorous review of the project’s long-term environmental and social impact mitigation measures to ensure that the multi-billion project is done with sustainability in mind and aligned with the country’s climate ambitions. The Dutch government, represented by Atradius Dutch State Business (DSB), extended the ECI to Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V., to cover its EUR 1.5 billion contract for land development works at the airport project site in Bulakan, Bulacan. The NMIA project is the largest in Boskalis’ over 100-year history, and is also the largest export credit agency (ECA) insurance policy granted in the 90-year history of Atradius. SMC President and Chief Executive Officer Ramon S. Ang thanked the Dutch government for its support to NMIA, a project seen to catalyze sustainable economic growth for the Philippines, especially post-pandemic. It is seen to deliver over a million jobs to Filipinos. “This is a significant milestone not only for San Miguel and the NMIA project, but for the entire country. With this, we are closer to our dream of having a world-class, future-ready, and sustainably-built international gateway, proudly built by Filipinos for the Philippines. This also validates our work with Boskalis to ensure that this project is done right, and will provide long-term economic, environmental, and social benefits to our host communities and Bulacan province,” Ang said. In a statement posted on Boskalis’ international website, its CEO Peter Berdowski, said: “I am very pleased that all the hard work with a large team of experts has been successfully completed (today). For more than a year, we have worked intensively with Atradius DSB to ensure that the construction of the new airport will take place in a socially responsible manner.” He added: “In collaboration with Atradius DSB, the Dutch embassy, we succeeded in developing a broadly supported plan with an eye for the local community and the preservation of biodiversity. I would like to thank all those involved for their contribution to the positive decision of the State.” In the same statement, Atradius DSB Managing Director Bert Bruning said: “This project is unique on so many levels. Firstly, of course, as a very important contract for our client Boskalis, but also for us, as the largest ECA policy in our 90-year history,” he said. “In addition, I am proud of the fact that together with Boskalis and San Miguel, by keeping up the dialogue, we were able to ensure that the project is to meet international standards in the field of environmental and social conditions. In doing so, we have not only contributed to making this wonderful contract possible built also really made a difference together for the local communities and nature.” As part of the ECI process, a large group of experts from San Miguel, together with Boskalis and four renowned consultancy firms, conducted an extensive environmental and social impact assessment in accordance with the highest international standards. This process also included the conduct of impact analyses and compensation packages for adverse effects of the project. “This shows that the airport project and our environmental and social mitigation plans are not only sound, but robust and strong, given they can pass not only international standards but the exacting requirements of the Dutch government. It is another testament to the ability of Filipinos to be world-class,” Ang said. “We will continue to work with Atradius, the banks, experts, national and local government, and all stakeholders to ensure we will build this project in a sustainable manner and in compliance with the highest international environment and social standards,” Ang reaffirmed. added. The airport project will feature four parallel runways, a world-class terminal, and a modern and interlinked infrastructure network that includes expressways and railways. Article courtesy of San Miguel Corp
Philippine Resources - May 25, 2022
CTPCMC Allocates 7.7M for COVID-19 Initiatives
Article by: Roniel R. Arguillas - CTPCMC ICE Officer BAYANIHAN AMIDST THE COVID-19 BATTLE In order to protect and improve the lives of the people within the host and neighboring communities pursuant to Republic Act (RA) No. 11469 or the “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act”, CTP Construction and Mining Corporation or CTPCMC allocated 7.7 million pesos intended for the implementation of projects, programs, and activities (PPAs) on COVID-19 prevention. Through its Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) under Adlay Mining Project (AMP) and Dahican Nickel Project (DNP) the company implemented essential PPAs in the year 2021. The beneficiaries of PPAs were from the Host and Neighboring communities specifically Barangay Adlay, Barangay Dahican and Municipality of Carrascal. With an allocated budget of P2,060,803.78, a Covid-19 Assistance Center was put up to be the second line of support to the host communities if their existing Isolation Rooms have been fully occupied. The company’s employees and their dependents are to be prioritized in the center. The center is offering services which include free isolation room for those who are identified and confirmed as covid-19 patients, free vitamins, and over-the-counter drugs, 24/7 monitoring by health personnel and stand-by oxygen concentrators. Another PPA was the provision of 59 medical equipment and kits to Barangay Adlay. The provision included pulse oximeter, thermal scanner, LCD full digital ultrasound machine, hospital bed and refrigerator as vaccine storage. The turnover was done on December 14, 2021, held at Barangay Hall of Adlay. It was attended by Engr. Charlo R. Basadre CTPCMC Resident Mine Manager, Charid O. Cuadrillero ComRel Manager, Hon. Norberto O. Rubi Jr. Barangay Captain, and Raquel Bungcaras assigned nurse. “These are very essential and a huge help to the key front liners and to the people within the community.” Hon. Rubi said during the turnover. The company also provided two SDMP Emergency Response Vehicles for health-related emergencies.