SMC: Discussions with Palafox for PAREX ‘ongoing’

SAN Miguel Corp. (SMC) on Tuesday said it has ongoing discussions with Felino A. Palafox, Jr., Palafox Associates principal architect-urban planner and founder, for a potential consulting agreement for the Pasig River Expressway (PAREX) project.

SMC issued the statement after Palafox Associates and Palafox Architecture Group, Inc. said on Sept. 26 that “they have not signed any contract to be the consultant” of the PAREX project.

“[D]iscussions are ongoing. [Mr.] Palafox signified his intention to think about the project and see how he can marry both his and RSA’s (SMC President Ramon S. Ang) vision for a sustainable, inclusive, green, hybrid infrastructure that will benefit both people and the environment,” the company said in a statement.

“We’ve come to learn from him, however, that forces critical of the project have been exerting pressure on him, his associates, and his family to drop the project. We believe this is part of an orchestrated and continuing demolition job to paint the project as the opposite of what it truly is,” Mr. Ang said.

In their previous statement, Palafox Associates and Palafox Architecture Group said that they remain “strong” with their stand that public and private sectors must work together to address the climate crisis through multicultural development.

“This means that all economic, social, health, and environmental aspects must be carefully assessed before proceeding with any project,” they added.

The PAREX project is a six-lane elevated expressway that will run from Radial Road 10 in the city of Manila to Circumferential Road 6, also known as the future South East Metro Manila Expressway, in Taguig. It will run along the banks of the Pasig River. — Arjay L. Balinbin