SMC pushes ‘safe, reliable, sustainable’ Parex
San Miguel Corp. (SMC) said on Friday the 19.27-kilometer Pasig River Expressway (Parex) is a “safe, reliable and sustainable infrastructure” that can benefit motorists, public transport, cyclists and pedestrians amid opposition from advocacy groups over environmental concerns.
“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,” SMC president and CEO Ramon Ang said in a statement.
He added that the conglomerate engages “all stakeholders and in particular, partner with local communities to ensure environmental measures and mitigations are successful for the long-term.”
This, as Move As One Coalition questioned how thorough was the project’s environmental impact assessment (EIA).
“If the EIA is undertaken correctly and comprehensively, the EIA will show that the damage from Parex significantly outweighs its questionable and likely small benefits,” the group said in a statement.
To ensure that sustainability is incorporated in the design, Ang said architect Felino Palafox Jr., a renowned urban planner and green architect, is onboard with the project.
“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,” Palafox said.
The architect said that it is their goal to “seamlessly” incorporate green modes of transportation, including pedestrian pathways and bicycle highways, into Parex.
“We believe that if done right and in line with sustainability and green architecture principles, Parex will be a model road infrastructure that further democratizes the benefits and convenience of infrastructure,” he added.
Meanwhile, Ang reported that the conglomerate’s Pasig River clean-up initiative has collected 295,260 metric tons of silt and solid waste since last year.
It has a target daily output of at least 2,000 MT of waste which can total to 600,000 MT every year.
“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,” he said.
Ang said SMC hopes this initiative will mitigate “severe” flooding that has burdened cities near the Pasig River.
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