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Friday, June 14, 2024

TRB stops study of Pasig River Expressway

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The Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) said it paused the evaluation process for the Pasig River Expressway (PAREX) project after San Miguel Corp. decided to drop the project over environmental concerns.

“We wrote the SMC Infrastructure on the reported withdrawal or abandonment of the project. Up to this time, we have not received an official communication from SMC Infra,” TRB executive director Alvin Carullo said.

“It [PAREX] is already in the final engineering design stage. Because of the recent developments, the board deferred the deadline of submission of FED for six months,” he said.

Carullo said San Miguel has six months from March to send official communications to the TRB.

“If the TRB will receive the official communications, then we will give the proper report to the board,” he said.

“If they [San Miguel] will be the one to unilaterally withdraw, there are no financial obligations of the government. But if the government itself will be the one to terminate, there will be legal consequences, and it includes monetary consequence,” he said.

“Technically, it is still on the table because they have not given the confirmation that they are terminating the contract or the project,” Carullo said.

San Miguel president and chief executive Ramon Ang said the project would not push through because of the concerns raised by some environmental and conservation advocates.

“We are very sensitive to the opinion of the public. If the public thinks that it is not good for the public welfare, we will not do that,” Ang said.

The P81.53-billion PAREX is a 19.37-km. six-lane, all-elevated expressway which would traverse the Pasig River from Radial Road 10 in Manila to its termination at a connection with the proposed South East Metro Manila Expressway at Circumferential Road 6.

The project will connect and utilize a 2.7-km. portion of Skyway Stage 3 from Nagtahan to Plaza Azul.

The company earlier said it invested P2 billion to clean up the Pasig River and integrate a bus rapid transit system, bicycle lanes and pedestrian walkways in the project.

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