Pasig River clean-up part of SMC’s P95-B PAREX project
San Miguel Corporation (SMC) is reviving the Pasig River as part of its P95.40 billion Pasig River Expressway (PAREX) now under government review.
“Of all our projects, this will be among the most challenging, at the same time, the most fulfilling,” SMC president and COO Ramon S. Ang acknowledged.
To build the 19.40-kilometer, six-lane, elevated expressway along the banks of the river, SMC has to dredge the bottom and clear decades of debris and garbage to attain optimum depth and ensure constant water flow.
Interestingly, the PAREX poses a “solution within a solution”— decongesting Metro Manila traffic with minimal disruption on existing cities and roads, at the same time, cleaning up the entire length of the Pasig River and alleviating the flood problems of the metropolis.
And SMC is not new to large-scale river cleanups.
Early this year, the company started a P1-billion corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative to clean up the Tullahan-Tinajeros River System, as part of state efforts to clean up Manila Bay and address perennial flooding in low-lying areas, such as Bulacan and other Central Luzon provinces.
In just over two months, SMC extracted 20,000 cubic meters, or 2,150 truck-loads, of silt and garbage from a 5.25 km stretch of the Tullahan from Malabon to Navotas, the first phase of the project.
Every day now, the company has been removing some 600 tons of solid waste from the river.
The Pasig River Expressway, which starts from Radial Road 10 (R10) in the City of Manila and ends at a connection to the South East Metro Manila Expressway (SEMME), otherwise known as Circumferential Road 6 (C6), will reduce travel time from Manila to Rizal to 15 minutes.
From R10, or the port area, the PAREX will have entry and exit points at the University Belt area, San Juan, Buendia, Mandaluyong, Makati, Rockwell, Edsa, Pioneer St., Bonifacio Global City and C5 before terminating at C6.
The expressway provides an alternative and faster access to the country’s largest business districts—Makati, Ortigas, and BGC.
Along with the PAREX project, SMC also proposed to build the 420-kilometer, four-lane South Luzon Expressway Toll Road 5 (SLEX-TR5) extending the SLEX and SLEX-TR4 from Lucena, Quezon to Matnog, Sorsogon.
Both projects fall under the Built-Operate-Transfer scheme with a concession of 30 years, after which, the government takes over the infrastructure.