There are two major infrastructure projects that the San Miguel Corporation (SMC) is banking on to help drive the Philippine economy.
The first of these projects, the 420-kilometer South Luzon Expressway Tollroad 5 (SLEX-TR5), will connect Quezon province and the Bicol region. The second one, the 19.40-km. Pasig River Expressway (PAREX), will link the eastern and western sides of Metro Manila.
In a statement, the two road programs are expected to “transform Luzon into a growth powerhouse within just five years.”
The two programs represent a total of P121.8 billion worth of investment into the local economy.
SMC president and COO Ramon Ang said that a huge portion of the budget will go toward the salaries of thousands of workers and payments to local contractors, materials suppliers, haulers, and the national and local governments.
“As we said before, San Miguel is fully committed to helping our country overcome this crisis. A big part of that is to continue, and not hold back, on new investments. These projects will deliver hundreds of thousands of jobs and put money in the hands of the Filipinos—sustaining and boosting our economic recovery, even as we build for a much better future,” Ang said.
“SLEX TR5 will take four years to complete, and PAREX, three years. By that time, the pandemic would have been far behind us. Other major infrastructure projects would also be complete. Our Bulacan Airport project would also be complete. So imagine: within five years, the Philippines will be transformed, and be better than ever,” he added.
Earlier, the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) has announced that the SLEX TR5 and PAREX are certified toll road projects.
The SMC chief noted the features and benefits of the projects:
South Luzon Expressway Toll Road 5 (SLEX TR5)
- 420-kilometer, four-lane expressway that stretches from SLEX TR4 in Brgy. Mayao, Lucena City Quezon, up to Matnog Ferry Terminal in Sorsogon
- A P26.38-billion investment under a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) scheme with a concession period of 30 years, to be completed in 46 months.
- Eyes to cut travel time from Lucena to Matnog from 9 hours to 5.5 hours, and interlinking urban centers in Quezon and Bicol
- Eyed to provide better and safer route to tourist destinations, ports, as well as food production/agriculture areas
- A faster alternative from Metro Manila and fast-track the the development of new growth centers in the Quezon and Bicol regions and other southern parts of the country.
Pasig River Expressway
- 40-kilometer, six-lane, elevated expressway above Pasig River stretch that starts from Radial Road 10 (R10) in Manila and end at a connection of the South East Metro Manila Expressway (SEMME) at Circumferential Road 6 (C-6).
- 4 billion investment under a 30-year BOT scheme, it can be completed in 36 months.
- Targeted to decrease travel time from R-10 to C-6 to just 15 minutes and directly connect the western and eastern cities of Metro Manila.
- Set to decongest primary corridors of R10, EDSA, and C-5 by providing connectivity among toll roads and freeways and diverting traffic to other alternative routes.
- Meant to provide faster access to the country’s largest business districts, Makati, Ortigas, and BGC.
According to SMC, the construction for the projects will start as soon as all permits and clearances are obtained.
“Hopefully, we will be able to finalize with government and they will find our proposals favorable to the country. In the short to medium term, many of our people need jobs. Among the most affected by the economic impact of COVID-19 are laborers, those who rely on daily wages, and many in the construction industry,” Ang noted.
“We also have a lot of engineers or technical and labor workers from abroad who have either lost their jobs or decided to come home to their families, but now face an uncertain future. We can use their talent, experience, know-how, and skills to help us build our country back better,” he added.
Photo/s from San Miguel Corporation