Parex pits good versus evil


IN his usual cool demeanor, Ramon Ang is taking things in stride amid mixed reactions to his newest venture, the Parex (Pasig River Expressway).

Never known to surrender that easily even when his detractors try to peddle lies if only to muddle issues, Ang has vowed to do things one at a time in his assiduous mission to pursue the 19.3-kilometer-long Parex project. Already, he has energetically ordered the dredging of the country’s famed waterway relentlessly, initially earmarking P2 billion to revive the biologically dead river.

Some 54,000 metric tons of silts and wastes had been removed in just 3 months in preparation for the P95-billion Parex.

“We will continue to clean the Pasig River no matter what happens,” said Ang, the San Miguel Corp. president and who is affectionately described as the nation’s “Father of Expressway” by Ed Pamintuan, the former Angeles City mayor and presently chair of the Clark Development Corp.

“We’ve been dredging the Tullahan River in Malabon since 2020 to help address flooding and to support the government’s Manila Bay rehabilitation program,” Ang said. “Since July this year, we’ve been doing the same to the Pasig River.”

Ang’s Parex, a road wonder when finally completed, will be an elevated highway connecting Road 10 in Tondo, Manila, to the Circumferential Road 6 in Taytay, Rizal.

An SMC project in cooperation with government agencies like DENR, DPWH and DOTr, and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, the Parex will pass through the cities of Manila, Makati, Pasig and Taguig using the banks (not the river’s central nerve as critics wrongly assert) of the Pasig River.

The world-class Parex will include a Bus Rapid Transit, bicycle lanes, and pedestrian walkways, plus a green architecture and a nature’s view motif.

While the Pasig River cleanup will radically help mitigate flooding issues in both the metropolis and the flood-prone provinces around Laguna Lake, the Parex will tremendously decongest traffic in Metro Manila’s east to west routes.

It bothers that some groups even label the Parex project as a Pasig River killer—an absolute lie as the Parex will actually be the long-awaited boon to breathe new life to the long-neglected waterway.

Instead of rallying around Ang’s unselfish efforts to sustain his road groundwork strategies necessary for nation building, we sadly see instead counter-productive forces out to sabotage well-meaning thrusts for growth.

I can even smell a demolition job as some sectors seem to be drawing a wedge between SMC and Palafox  Associates, Ang’s choice to shepherd the Parex.

They will fail as good will always triumph over evil.

PEE STOP Deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of Dino Directo, the Manila Times motoring editor who succumbed to cardiac arrest last weekend following complications from abdomen surgery. Dino and I had this lifetime contest of who’d rise up and be first at the coffee shop ahead of the pack during motoring coverages. A gourmand, Dino would always win. During the rare times that I’d beaten him, he’d say, “Napasarap nang konti ang tulog ko, Sir.” And then, before we’d sip our coffee, he’d sidle up to me and say, “Sinadya kong magpahuli para manalo ka naman, Sir.” I will deeply miss him. Enjoy your vacation, Dino.

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