Conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) has decided to cancel its plan to construct the P81.53-billion Pasig River Expressway (PAREx) due to environmental concerns raised by civil society groups.

SMC Chief Ramon Ang announced on Monday in Manila that they will no longer pursue the toll road project after taking public opinion into consideration.

The proposed 19.37-kilometer PAREx project would have been a six-lane, elevated toll road running through the Pasig River from Radial Road 10 in Manila to the proposed South East Metro Manila Expressway at Circumferential Road 6.

Opposition to the project has been strong, with groups like Advocates of Science and Technology for the People expressing concerns about the environmental impact of the expressway blocking sunlight and affecting the food chain of the Pasig River.

Additionally, the #NoToParex campaign raised doubts about the environmental impact statement prepared for the project, alleging plagiarism and questioning the thoroughness of the assessment process.

While SMC has abandoned the PAREx project, they are still involved in other toll road ventures. They are currently working on the Cavite-Batangas Expressway and Nasugbu-Bauan Expressway with Metro Pacific Investment Corp. (MPIC).

SMC and MPIC are also looking to establish a joint venture for a mega tollway company, with other projects like Northern Access Link Expressway (NALEx) and Southern Access Link Expressway in the pipeline.


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