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SMC sets P100 billion capex for 2021
SMC president and CEO Ramon Ang said the conglomerate will help the economy get back on its feet by continuously investing in its big-ticket infrastructure projects including the Manila International Airport in Bulacan and the rehabilitation of Pasig River as part of the proposed P95 billion Pasig River Expressway.
STAR/ File

SMC sets P100 billion capex for 2021

Iris Gonzales (The Philippine Star) - June 14, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — San Miguel Corp. (SMC), the country’s diversified conglomerate,  is pouring in roughly P100 billion in capital expenditures this year as it gears up for continued recovery following a difficult business environment last year because of the onslaught of COVID-19.

The P100 billion capex is higher than last year’s P90 billion, according to SMC.

SMC president and CEO Ramon Ang said the conglomerate will  help the economy get back on its feet by continuously investing in its big-ticket infrastructure projects including the Manila International Airport in Bulacan and the rehabilitation of Pasig River as part of the proposed P95 billion Pasig River Expressway.

“Our new major projects that include the international airport in Bulacan, the Pasig River Expressway and our massive river cleanup projects show how confident we are about our country’s post-pandemic future. We will build back better, and you can count on San Miguel to lead from the front,” Ang said during the company’s annual stockholders meeting last week.

SMC doubled to P2 billion its capex for the cleanup of the Pasig River, touted as the largest rehabilitation project in the country.

“There have been many cleanup efforts in the past, and government has successfully implemented a number of programs these past few years,” Ang said.

“We hope that with the resources and technical know-how that we are bringing into the effort today – along with the continued support of our national government agencies and local government units – we can all make a bigger difference,” he said.

To further underscore the problem of pollution in the Pasig River, Ang cited a study published by OurWorldinData.org last May, which stated that the Pasig River has emerged as the top plastics polluter of oceans in the world. 

Our World in Data is a collaborative effort between researchers at the University of Oxford and UK-based non-profit, Global Change Data Lab.

Under the project, SMC is targeting to remove some 50,000 metric tons of waste from the Pasig River per month, or 600,000 metric tons of waste per year, using advanced and specialized equipment which the company has already acquired. 

“This is a monumental task, but it is not impossible if we all work together. We are giving this same project the same commitment and focus we have put into the Tullahan project. We are confident that with the political will of President  Duterte and the support of local and national government agencies and other stakeholders, we will be able to bring Pasig River back to life,” Ang said.

The company is coordinating with the Department of Public Works and Highways to develop a dredging plan that will establish the target depth that will best handle heavy rainfall during extreme weather and minimize flooding,” he said.

The Pasig River Expressway project aims to help ease traffic in Metro Manila with minimal disruption on existing cities and roads. It also seeks to improve the flow of water throughout the entire length of the Pasig River through the rehabilitation component of the project.

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