Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Signing of the Supplemental Toll Operations Agreement for the Pasig River Expressway

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

The goal of inclusive growth for the country, easing Metro Manila traffic, and preserving major waterways will soon be realized as Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Art Tugade and San Miguel Corporation (SMC) President Ramon Ang led the signing of the Supplemental Toll Operations Agreement (STOA) for the Pasig River Expressway (PAREX).
The signing of the STOA is a crucial part in the construction of the PAREX, a 19.4-kilometer, six-lane elevated expressway along the banks of the Pasig River.

Secretary Tugade and Ang were joined by officials of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Toll Regulatory Board (TRB), Philippine National Construction Corporation (PNCC), Pasig River Expressway Corporation, and Skyway O&M Corporation during the signing ceremony today, 21 September 2021.

Secretary Tugade said that the game-changing project will trigger inclusive economic growth and recovery during the pandemic as this will further facilitate mobility and connectivity from north to south and east to west sides of Metro Manila. The transportation chief also stated that the PAREX attests to the solid partnership between the public and private sectors.

“Iyong mga proyektong ganito, ang buong sambayanan, ang buong ekonomiya ay makikinabang. Pagkat kung a-addressin mo ‘yung decongestion, kung aaddressin mo ‘yung pagpapaigsi ng biyahe at paglalakbay, hindi lang po ‘yung mga nagmamaneho, ‘yung mga gumagamit ng kalsada ang makikinabang kundi ang buong sambayanan,” Sec. Tugade said.

“Ang buong ekonomiya ay makikinabang pagkat kung may pasilidad na ganito, ‘yung pagpunta sa mga lugar ng inyong paghahanap buhay, ‘yung pagsasama-sama ng mga pamilya upang magkaroon ng family time, ‘yung pamamalengke, ‘yung pagpasok sa eskwelahan pati na po ‘yung pagpunta sa simbahan, ay mapapadali,” he added.

“This project will incorporate green design principle to benefit not just motorists but also the environment and the economy of the people. It will be inclusive because it will accommodate various modes of transportations. PAREX will complete the vision of seamless north-south, east-west connectivity in Metro Manila,” PAREX Corp. Chairman and SMC President Ramon Ang said for his part.

“This a landmark and monumental project, along with the Skyway, that will provide a long-term solution to the problem of traffic in the Metropolis. It will have many effects that will provide a lot of jobs and force business and economic activity,” said DPWH Undersecretary Cathy Cabral.

Once operational, PAREX will decongest Metro Manila traffic because it will connect toll roads and freeways of the capital - Road-10 in Manila, EDSA, and C5, and further to Rizal, Cainta, and Marikina. The infrastructure project is likewise set to provide faster and alternative access to several business districts, such as the Makati, Ortigas, and Bonifacio Global City.

According to SMC, the Project Road consists of 5.7-kilometer Segment I (from Radial Road No. 10 to Plaza Azul in Manila); 7.3-kilometer Segment II (from Pandacan, Manila to C-5, and 6.3-kilometer Segment III (from C-5 to C-6).
 Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Art Tugade on Tuesday, 21 September 2021, assured motorists and other users of the country’s expressways that they need not worry about paying increased toll fees amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tugade made the assurance after the signing of the Supplemental Toll Operations Agreement (STOA) for the Pasig River Expressway (PAREX) between the DOTr and the San Miguel Corporation.

Secretary Tugade said that while he understands the clamor of tollway operators for increases in toll rates to generate needed revenue to sustain their operations, he also stressed that the DOTr, through the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) must uphold and protect the interest of the public, especially with pandemic’s economic effects.

“Nakikita natin ‘yung pangangailangan ng operators ng increases na ‘yan nang sa ganon, ‘yung mga funding requirements nila ay maasikaso. Pero kailangan din ‘ho ng tulong sa sambayanan, lalo’t higit tayo ay nasa pandemyang nangyayari ngayon,” said Secretary Tugade.

“We need to strike a good balance. Yung pangangailangan ng mga investors, ‘yung mga kakayanan ng publiko. Kailangan ‘ho ibalanse yan,” the Secretary added.

According to Secretary Tugade, considering the conditions imposed by the pandemic, the DOTr may approve toll rate hikes, but such will definitely be implemented at a later date.

“Are we expecting increases at this time? Kung ako ‘ho ang masusunod, maaaring apruban ‘yung increase, pero ‘wag i-implement ngayon. Pagka’t kailangang balansihin ‘yung pangangailangan ng publiko sa pangangailangan ng mga negosyante,” Tugade said.

A 19.4-kilometer, 6-lane elevated expressway to be built along the banks of the Pasig River, PAREX will connect the Radial Road-10 in Manila, EDSA, and C5, and will decongest traffic volume in Rizal, Cainta, and Marikina. It is also set to provide a faster and alternative access to Makati, Ortigas, and the Bonifacio Global City.

Signing the STOA were Secretary Tugade, San Miguel President and COO Ramon Ang, TRB Executive Director Alvin Carullo, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Undersecretary Cathy Cabral, and Philippine National Construction Corporation (PNCC) Assistant Vice President for Legal Affairs Henry Salazar.

PAREX is based on green architecture principle. A hybrid transport infrastructure, the elevated expressway integrates various modes of transportation – a bus rapid transit system, dedicated bike lanes, pedestrian walkways, and jogging paths.

The elevated expressway will be the country’s first sustainable infrastructure. Designed for multiple uses, it will have direct environmental, social, and economic benefits for Filipinos.

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