Pasig bishop lauds scrapping of PAREx project

March 24, 2024 - 5:13 PM
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Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara of Pasig. (Diocese of Pasig/Facebook)

A Catholic bishop has described the scrapping of the planned P95-billion expressway along the Pasig River a ‘welcome development’.

Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara of Pasig said the conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) has addressed the civil society’s environmental concerns about the project.

“This is a welcome development in the spirit of synodality,” Vergara said.

SMC president and CEO Ramon Ang earlier this week said that the P95-billion express way will no longer proceed.

“We are very sensitive to the opinion of the public. If the public think that it is not good [for] the public welfare, we will not do it anymore,” Ang said in a briefing on March 18.

The 19.4-kilometer Pasig River Expressway (PAREx) originally aimed to connect Manila, Mandaluyong, Makati, Pasig, Taguig, and Taytay, Rizal, but faced controversy.

The bishop said the SMC “has indeed listened to the multisectoral groups, including the Church, who have expressed serious concerns and objections about the project”.

Vergara reiterated that the controversial project “will be harmful to the environment and the cultural heritage of Pasig and Metro Manila”.

“The decision of SMC not to pursue the project is in line with the challenge of Pope Francis to make decisions not just at the individual level but most effectively at an institutional level,” he said.

In his pastoral letter issued in March 2022, Vergara warned of the negative consequences if the project will push through, adding that it “is not a solution to ease the traffic but will worsen our future”.

“We do not need another project like an expressway in order to be called a ‘livable city’ that will cause harm and death,” the letter read.