San Miguel Corp. (SMC) signed an additional toll operating agreement with the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) for the construction of the Pasig River Expressway (Parex).
The additional agreement gives SMC a 30-year franchise to build and operate the 19.4-kilometer Parex along the banks of the Pasig River in 36 months, connecting the eastern and western parts of the metropolis.
SMC will bear the cost of 95 billion pesos to build Parex, without using taxpayer or government money.
“We have seen the miracle of road connection that has been achieved by connecting the north and south via Skyway 3. Our ambition is to also connect the east and west corridors of Metro Manila. Parex will not only benefit motorists, but it will also affect the economy as it will reduce congestion and increase productivity, ”said Transport Secretary Arthur P. Tugade.
For his part, SMC Chairman Ramon S. Ang said the project will use “green design principles” for construction and operation and will also include provisions for fiber deployment.
“In total, Parex will generate 50,000 direct jobs and… around 200,000 jobs if you add the indirect jobs that will be created through the project,” Ang said.
Parex involves the construction of an elevated, six-lane 19.40 kilometer highway along the banks of the river. This requires the river bed to be dredged and cleared of decades of debris and waste, to reach its optimum depth and ensure a constant flow of water.
The freeway will start from Radial Route 10 (R10) in Manila City and end at a connection to the Manila Metro Southeast Freeway (SEMME), also known as Circumferential Route 6 (C6). This cuts the journey time from Manila to Rizal to just 15 minutes.
From the R10, or the port area, it will have entry and exit points in the University Belt, San Juan, Buendia, Mandaluyong, Makati, Rockwell, Edsa, Pioneer St., Bonifacio Global City, C5 area, before end at C6.
It aims to provide alternative and faster access to the country’s largest business districts: Makati, Ortigas and Bonifacio Global City.
“Parex will provide a long-term solution to the growing traffic problem in the metropolis,” said Under Secretary of Public Works Catalina E. Cabral.
Parex will also integrate a rapid public transport service by bus to make the route more “inclusive”. It will feature “dedicated cycle paths and walkways” and will be purposefully built around green architectural and engineering principles, with sustainability as the main driver.