The Pasig River Esplanade expands with newly built store spaces | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

The Pasig River Esplanade
The Pasig River Esplanade | Photo from the Presidential Communications Office

The latest extension connects the showcase area behind the Manila Central Post Office to Intramuros



Five months ago, the Pasig Bigyang Buhay Muli (PBBM) project was officially unveiled. Behind the Manila Central Post Office, a 500-meter showcase was built as a preview to the current administration’s ongoing efforts to rehabilitate the Pasig River.

Headed by the Inter-Agency Council for the Pasig River Urban Development, the rehabilitation project does not only include the restoration of the river’s waters but also the holistic revitalization of the surrounding area, which includes the construction of transportation, commerce, and recreational facilities to make the Pasig River Esplanade a viable local and tourist destination on par with the likes of other riverside areas around the world. 

READ: President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. inaugurates the showcase area of the Pasig River Urban Development Project

“The transformation we would like to see in Pasig River are not cosmetic in nature. We will not paper over the river’s fundamental problems, nor whitewash its grime while leaving the old and rotten still there. We do not want a river that is instantly made picturesque by coats of paint. We want a river whose transformation sinks to its very bottom,” said President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. in the ceremonial opening of the project in January.

“Along the 25-kilometer stretch will judiciously sprout commercial enterprises, run by the best stewards and strongest stakeholders of the river’s development—the people themselves. We envision civic spaces where our children will play, our seniors will relax, families will exercise, artists can showcase their talents, and the creative can display their wares,” the president added.

pasig river esplanade
The extended portion of the Pasig River Esplanade | Photo from the Presidential Communications Office (PCO)

Since then, the ongoing restoration has expanded past the Manila Central Post Office. Just last weekend, the current administration unveiled phase 1C of the project, which is an additional 250 meters that connects the existing esplanade to Plaza Mexico and Fort Santiago in Intramuros.

READ: If these walls could talk: A look into the storied history of Roxas Boulevard and its structures 

The newly built extension features tiendas that will house numerous businesses and is expected to create livelihood opportunities.

The structure has at least 32 tiendas on the ground floor—some will be air-conditioned while others will be naturally ventilated. Above it is a roof deck overlooking the river and the surrounding area. 

“Consistent with the initial project launch, Phase 1C focuses on functional development that includes pedestrian-friendly infrastructure, commercial zones, and green spaces,” said President Marcos Jr. at the inauguration of phase 1C of the project.

“It features leasable stalls that will house several food and retail stores as well as walkways, bike lanes, and a boardwalk that will add vibrance and drive tourism, and generate economic activity along the riverbanks,” he added.

The revitalization project stemmed from Executive Order No. 35, issued by the President last year calling to “transform Pasig River back into historically pristine condition conducive to transport, recreation, and tourism.” 

In addition to restoring the old glory of the river, the project also aims to help ease traffic on the surface streets by promoting water transportation through the Pasig Ferry System, an alternative method of commuting within Metro Manila. 

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