'Murderous to ecosystem': Netizens oppose Pasig River expressway construction

Published September 28, 2021, 7:27 AM

by Joseph Pedrajas

The upcoming Pasig River Expressway or PAREX does not seem to have earned the public’s nod after social media users voiced out their objection against the project.

Twitter user @13thFool said in a post Monday that “building a highway on top of the Pasig River is not only a stupid idea, [but] it’s murderous to the surviving ecosystem there.”

According to him, “every river system needs direct sunlight to thrive,” which another Twitter user @MattDayniel agreed by saying, “another thing is water is a better heat absorber than roads and concrete.”

Meanwhile, user @ohHansel said that instead of PAREX, which will cost P95 billion and will be financed by San Miguel Corporation, an “inland waterway transport” should be built so the river will remain clean while there will be more means of mass transportation.

In a public statement jointly drafted by concerned social media users posted online, they also said that “PAREX will kill the Pasig River.”

“The project will render useless the years of work done to restore the river, and it will disregard the needs of future citizens. PAREX will hamper the river’s role in controlling floods, ensuring water security and urban biodiversity, and reducing the Urban Heat Island effect,”

“Inducing car travel above the Pasig River will increase non-exhaust emissions like microplastics from car tires, road dust, and particulate matter that will pollute our rivers, streams, and oceans,” they added.

They also said that PAREX will also worsen air pollution in the Philippines and will “destroy Pasig River’s ecology, and make Metro Manila more vulnerable to the climate crisis.”

The reactions came after SMC broke ground on Friday last week, Sep. 24, for the proposed 19.37-kilometer PAREX, several days after it secured the government’s approval.

The project aims to connect the eastern and western cities of Metro Manila, and to accommodate not only cars, but also bikes and buses.

Ang also said that PAREX will be a “solution within a solution,” through decongesting Metro Manila traffic with minimal disruption on existing cities and roads while cleaning up the entire length of the Pasig River and alleviating the flood problems of Metro Manila as SMC is also undertaking a P2 billion initiative to clean up and rehabilitate the Pasig River.