Instead of building an airway along the Pasig River, PROMDI presidential candidate Senator Manny Pacquiao said he would rather develop Metro Manila’s main waterway into a tourist destination similar to the river. Brisbane in Australia.
During a press briefing at Iloilo City Hall following his courtesy visit to Mayor Jerry Treñas, Pacquiao said the Pasig River Expressway Project (PAREX) which is being pushed by the San Miguel Corporation President Ramon Ang is a laudable project, but it could cause irreversible damage to the Pasig River.
If elected president, he would push for an honest cleanup and rehabilitation of the Pasig River.
He said the river also needed to be dredged to remove the heavy silt that has turned its once pure waters into murky sewage.
“I have a plan for Pasig River. It is very beautiful to develop. We just have to dredge it, clean the water and develop the surroundings and the easement,” he said.
Pacquiao’s idea to turn the Pasig River from a dirty eyesore into a beautiful promenade and river highway came when he inspected its entire stretch up to Laguna before the pandemic.
He noted that it was worth investing in cleaning up and rehabilitating the Pasig River because of its potential as a major tourist attraction.
Instead of an airway along the river, Pacquiao is expected to establish a modern end-to-end river ferry that can be integrated into a multimodal transportation system for Metro Manila.
On the other hand, the construction of a highway over the river could severely damage the river and even cause severe flooding in its surroundings.