Skyway 3 project completed

It is all out in the news here in the Philippines and it is the best piece of infrastructure and travel-related news for travelers, business stakeholders and other concern parties specifically here in Metro Manila and the communities outside its boundaries – San Miguel Corporation (SMC)’s president and chief operation officer (COO) Ramon S. Ang announced the completion of the Skyway 3 project (AKA Skyway Stage 3) which is almost eighteen kilometers long. Right now, they are working on completing the finishing touches before formally opening it to the public.

Personally, I am happy for their achievement!

A great view of a portion of Skyway Stage 3. (source – Mark Villar Facebook page)

For the newcomers reading this, the Skyway 3 project is composed of a 17.93 kilometer stretch that links the norther and southern parts of Luzon by means of a modern highway. More specifically, once the newly completed project finally opens, travel from the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) to the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) will take only twenty minutes which will be a major improvement from the average of 2-3 hours (without Skyway 3). It should be noted that the project was completed way before the October 31, 2020 target of completion.

“I’m happy to announce that the whole structure of Skyway 3 is now complete. With this, Skyway 2 in Buendia is now officially extended all the way to the North Luzon Expressway. After many challenges, this project faced in previous years, the dream of connecting north and south and providing an alternative to Edsa is now a reality,” Ang said in a press statement released on October 13.

As mentioned earlier, I am happy for the completion of Skyway 3 and soon it will finally be opened to public motorists (who can afford to pay the eventual toll fees). Each year for the past several years, I travel from Alabang to Clark and Subic Bay to attend important events. During those times, it was a struggle to move from south to north and back WITHOUT Skyway 3. The traffic along EDSA (which passes through different Metro Manila cities and on the maze of roads within the City of Manila were often bad, time-consuming and unpredictable.

Another stretch of Skyway Stage 3 over water. (source – Mark Villar Facebook page)

With Skyway Stage 3, travel between SLEX and NLEX will be much faster. It is stated in the press statement that travel from Magallanes to Balintawak will only take about 15 minutes, Balintawak to Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) also only 15 minutes, and Valenzuela to Makati in just 10 minutes. As for people from the cities of Muntinlupa, Las Piñas, Parañaque and even further south from Laguna province who need to travel to Subic Bay faster in the near future, imagine going north using the SLEX, then the Skyway (in the south) moving through the metropolis in quick fashion to reach the NLEX thanks to Skyway 3’s stretch and then take the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) to get to Subic Bay faster than ever before. Travelers from Cavite province will also benefit from the improved access and travel too since their province has highways that connect to the SLEX. Really, a lot of people, especially families business people who need to travel within Metro Manila and those who want to go further north or south will really benefit from the eventual operation of Skyway 3 not for just a year but in the years to come.

From this point on, watch out for SMC’s announcement of the formal opening of Skyway 3. Congratulations to SMC and their strategic partners for their accomplishment! Thank the Lord in Heaven also for making big dreams a reality!

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COVID-19 Crisis: New 144-bed ‘We Heal As One’ quarantine facility opens in Muntinlupa City

A new “We Heal As One” quarantine facility for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients and suspect cases in Muntinlupa City was formally opened in Barangay Tunasan yesterday. The 144-bed quarantine facility has been constructed by the Department of Public Works and Highways in partnership with the local government of Muntinlupa.

DPWH Secetary Mark Villar, Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, and Mayor Jaime Fresnedi led the blessing ceremony of the emergency quarantine facility amounting to P45-million in Pacwood Site, Brgy. Tunasan.

(L-R) DPWH Secretary Mark Villar, Muntinlupa Mayor Jaime Fresnedi, and DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade inspected the newly constructed “We Heal As One” isolation facility in Pacwood Site, Brgy. Tunasan last October 13. DPWH and Muntinlupa LGU have converted 36 units of shipping containers as isolation rooms for positive COVID-19 patients, suspect and probable cases, and quarters of medical frontliners who will serve in the facility. Each room has a comfort room, air-conditioning unit, and bed supplies. Residents who will occupy the isolation rooms will receive a COVID-19 essentials bag consisting of a hygiene kit, vitamins, medicine, thermometer, bedsheet, pillow blanket, and towels, among others. (source – Muntinlupa PIO)

Fresnedi extended his gratitude to DPWH’s assistance for the construction of the additional isolation facility in the city which he notes as an augmentation in the local COVID-19 response efforts.

Also attending the ceremony were Office of Civil Defense Asec Hernando Caraig Jr., City Administrator Allan Cachuela, City Health Officer Dra. Teresa Tuliao, and CHO Isolation Facility Administrator Dr. Juancho Bunyi.

DPWH and Muntinlupa LGU have converted 36 units of shipping containers as isolation pods for positive COVID-19 patients, suspect and probable cases, and quarters of medical frontliners who will serve in the facility.

Each room has a comfort room, air-conditioning unit, and bed supplies. A wi-fi connection will also be installed in the facility. Residents who will occupy the isolation rooms will receive a COVID-19 essentials bag consisting of a hygiene kit, vitamins, medicine, thermometer, bedsheet, pillow blanket, and towels, among others.

The units.
Inside a unit.
A toiled and sink.

The City Government of Muntinlupa is implementing a mandatory self-isolation policy, or admission to city isolation facilities if requirements for home quarantine are not met as certified by the City Health Office (CHO), for anyone who have undergone COVID-19 swab testing.

The stringent measure aims to restrict movement of suspect cases and prevent possible carriers of the virus to travel and infect other individuals.

During the program, Public Works Sec. Villar reported that an additional quarantine facility with 200-bed capacity will be constructed in the Filinvest Tent Parking Area.

Transportation Sec. Tugade lauded the City Government’s hard work in executing surveillance, isolation, and treatment protocols, and its efforts towards the fight against COVID-19.

Further, he said that the city’s request for the opening of Susana Heights – MCX Access Road has been approved by the DPWH and DOTr and is expected to be accessible by December.

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Latest City Government of Muntinlupa details sourced from their official media release. Some parts were edited for this website.

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake newsNO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiaristsNOT to distorted views and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, engagements, commerce and updates, visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

My Observations: Starbucks Vermosa

In South Metro Manila, Daang Hari is one very long road used by thousands of motorists each day. It stretches from a corner of Alabang Zapote Road in Las Pinas which goes through portions of Alabang (Muntinlupa City), goes past Evia Lifestyle Center and the connection with Muntinlupa Cavite Expressway (MCX) and more notably the road leads further into the province of Cavite.

Along Daang Hari within the jurisdiction of Imus City, Cavite, is the world-class Vermosa Sports Hub which is home to a very modern looking swimming pool, track oval and some facilities.

Just outside Vermosa Sports Hub, however, along Daang Hari is a new branch of Starbucks Coffee which I visited.

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The front of Starbucks Vermosa coffee shop.

As expected, the Vermosa Starbucks branch has a very modern design on its exterior and interior. Its interior is quite spacious with lots of seats and tables that can accommodate groups of friends and family members. The place is good enough for employees or business executives to have group meetings in while having coffee.

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This is where you choose, line up, pay and pick up your order.

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Nice interior.

Upon my examination of the place, I noticed some parking slots in the rear of the coffee shop (with the Vermosa Sports Hub visible). Like the Starbucks coffee shop at Evia Lifestyle Center, this coffee shop has a drive-thru.

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Parking slots.

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The drive-thru lane.

So if you are coming from Cavite heading to Las Pinas or Muntinlupa and you want coffee to help you complete your long drive along Daang Hari, know that the Vermosa Starbucks branch is operating.