COVID-19 Crisis: Additional checkpoints in Metro Manila for ECQ (until April 4, 2021)

Are you having trouble moving around Metro Manila during this period of ECQ (Enhanced Community Quarantine) that’s supposed to end on April 4, 2021? Were you able to study and use the S-PaSS system?

Be aware that today, additional checkpoints (AKA quarantine control points) have been added in Metro Manila.

Below is an excerpt from yesterday’s article published through Philippine News Agency’s (PNA) website. For clarity, locations of the checkpoints are in bold.

National Capital Region Police (NCRPO) Chief, Maj. Gen. Vicente Danao, Jr., said the checkpoints are implemented at Susana Heights Tollgate; Alabang Tollgate; Filinvest Tollgate; Sucat Tollgate; Bicutan Tollgate; Skyway Entry; Nichols Tollgate; and Balon Bato, Balintawak, Quezon City.

Danao said apart from these control points, about 929 other checkpoints are manned by some 7,876 personnel in highly visible areas but these are “less restrictive”, which means it is mainly for anti-criminality, anti-terrorism, and dragnet operations.

He said under ECQ, police manning checkpoints restrict the movement of persons not allowed outside their homes and facilitate the movement of authorized persons outside of residence (APORs) and essential goods and services.

For those living in the South Metro Manila cities of Muntinlupa, Las Piñas and Parañaque, the tollgates of Susana Heights, Alabang, Filinvest, Sucat and Bicutan should be familiar because all of them are accessed through the Skyway and the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX). I find it weird that the PNA report did not even mention the said highways.

Knowing this, I encourage you all to check the ECQ requirements for travel (note: if you still have your quarantine pass or QP, bring it with you) and study using S-PaSS (note: City Government of Las Piñas encouraged motorists to use it).

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

Muntinlupa City partners with DOST, UP-IPB to train communities on hydroponics, provides free seeds and seedlings to promote urban farming

The City Government of Muntinlupa, through the Extension Services Office (formerly Department of Agriculture – Muntinlupa), launched its “Gulayan sa Lungsod ng Muntinlupa” program and has partnered with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and University of the Philippines Institute of Plant Breeding (UP-IPB) for the training of communities on innovative farming technologies and to promote urban agriculture.

ESO acting chief Malou Lobo said the city aims to revive urban agriculture and urban farming as a response to augment food security amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Lobo said the City Government has partnered with DOST and UP-IPB for the conduct of SNAP Hydroponics Training, an innovative farming technology, to two pilot communities in Brgy. Sucat.

She noted that the urban site in Doña Rosario Heights serves as the city’s Urban Model Farm while the farming site in Paradise Garden community is the city’s Communal Model Farm which is being managed by the 4P’s (Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program) beneficiaries. Recently, the DOST donated 200 S.N.A.P (Simple Nutrient Addition Program) Kit Solutions for Hydroponics to the City Government and were distributed to pilot communities.

This project brought Muntinlupa back to its agricultural roots. (source – Muntinlupa PIO)

DA-ESO is working with 12 Home Owners Associations, three (3) Cooperatives, and six (6) Youth Organizations for the urban agriculture initiative. The agriculture department conducts regular urban farming site visitations, online trainings and monitoring of communities to ensure the sustainability of the program.

As of October 2020, at least 2,224 packs of vegetable seeds, 5,302 vegetable seedlings, and 118 liters of organic fertilizers were distributed to the different communities through the Sustainable Nutrition Augmentation Program.

Further, DA-ESO provides free seeds and seedlings to the public to further promote backyard farming. Residents and urban farmer may need to register via DA-ESO Facebook Page fb.com/daeso.muntinlupa.

Recipients will be asked to coordinate and send documentation of their progress to DA-ESO for monitoring. The department commits to provide recommendations and trainings to the recipients to help them grow their crops.

DA-ESO also launched Balitang Agri, a series of educational shows demonstrating proper ways of planting vegetable crops, as part of the department’s information campaign. Balitang Agri covers topics which include plant culture, soil groups, composting, and agricultural marketing, among others. For more information, visit DA-ESO Facebook Page or reach them at 5th Floor, Annex Building, City Government of Muntinlupa with tel. nos. 8861-6498 / 8861-3042.

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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

New Skyway Ramp to Open on December 1

Hi everyone! Have you been struggling with the constant heavy traffic along the northbound lane of the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) since September due to the construction of a Skyway extension project (planned to reach Susana Heights) within the Alabang viaduct area?

Well here are the good news: effective December 1, 2019, the third lane of the at-grade level of the Skyway will be re-opened and the brand new, two-lane ramp connecting the Alabang viaduct to the elevated Skyway will be opened to the public!

The anticipated developments should result an improvement of the flow of traffic going north.

“These enhancements will ensure that there will be five lanes available to northbound SLEX vehicles during rush hours, even as we go full blast with the construction of the Skyway Extension project. Motorists will be able to use the original three lanes at the at-grade section, plus 2 more lanes at the elevated section,” San Miguel Corporation (SMC) president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang said according to the press release.

Due to the construction of the new ramp started this past September, traffic worsened as road space was reduced. What used to be five lanes on the northbound direction of the SLEX at the Alabang viaduct was narrowed down to three lanes. The City Government of Muntinlupa itself implemented a one-way traffic scheme along the east service road in connection to the construction.

Skyway managers made the hard adjustments by reconfiguring and maximizing the first section of the elevated Skyway coming from the Alabang-Zapote road to three lanes, from the original two.

The operators stated that with the new ramp connecting to the elevated section, northbound traffic from SLEX can be accommodated without significantly impacting traffic coming from the Alabang-Zapote road.

It was pointed out that the original design for the Alabang-Zapote road Skyway ramp, built by the previous concessionaire, is one lane northbound and one lane southbound. At certain times in the morning, when traffic is heaviest, both lanes are used for northbound traffic.

As such, they emphasized that the advantage of the new three-lane configuration at the start of the elevated portion is that lane assignments can be easily adjusted depending on traffic volume. Even with the new ramp in effect, motorists coming from the Alabang-Zapote road will retain the use of one to two lanes, depending on traffic volume.

With regards to night-time southbound traffic, which normally gets heavy, more or all lanes—including the two lanes on the new ramp–can be assigned for southbound use.

To put things in perspective, the Skyway Extension project is an initiative by SMC worth P10 billion designed to extend the Skyway from Alabang to SLEX near  Susana Heights and the Muntinlupa-Cavite Expressway (MCX). Completion of the whole project is set for December 2020. By then , there should be three additional northbound lanes and two southbound lanes on either side of the existing SLEX. It will allow both northbound and southbound motorists to bypass the Alabang viaduct.

This is welcome news and there should be relief starting Sunday (December 1).

In my personal experience, I work at an office in Calamba, Laguna and since September 25, traveling back to Alabang became more challenging due to the increased traffic congestion. Many times, the tail-end of the traffic jam going north along SLEX reached the Susana Heights area. Some times, the tail-end was at the Southwoods exit.

We will soon find out starting Monday how the promised benefits of the new Skyway ramp will improve the northbound flow of vehicles.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

My Observations: Muntinlupa City to Implement New Traffic Scheme No Later than October 13

Since the start of the construction of the Skyway extension project on the evening of September 24, traffic got worse on the northbound lane of the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX). The result? The construction – which resulted eating up road space – made traffic more congested than before. As I drove on the way to the office in Laguna on September 25, I saw many vehicles (heading north) jammed together tightly from the Alabang viaduct up to around twenty kilometers going south in the jurisdiction of Laguna.

And then I later experienced the hardship of being in the traffic jam going back to Alabang that same day. The trip home took an additional one hour and twenty minutes for me.

The next day, it took me more than an hour again to reach Alabang from Laguna going home. Only this time, I took the exit to go to the Muntinlupa-Cavite Expressway (MCX), turned to Daang Hari and go to Alabang. On the other side of the SLEX, motorists traveling north took the exit going to the National Road of Muntinlupa. National Road is composed of only four lanes, take note.

As the Skyway operator confirmed that the project construction will last until late 2020, we the motorists have no choice but to accept the new reality that the worsened traffic will be the new normal along the SLEX.

The City Government of Muntinlupa noticed this problem. The construction also affected the East service road’s traffic which caused inconvenience to the businesses and residents who often travel there.

This is why today (September 30), the City Government formally announced the implementation of a one-way traffic scheme at the East service road no later than October 13. The purpose of this new move is to address, and hopefully ease, the heavy traffic motorists are experiencing.

Already a consultation was organized by Traffic Management Bureau chief Danidon Nolasco with representatives from San Miguel Corporation Tollways, EEI, transport groups, and subdivisions and companies situated the East service road.

Nolasco said SMC Tollways anticipate at least 14 weeks to finish the construction of the extension project with the currently imposed stop-and-go traffic scheme. He added that construction period will be reduced by half if a one-way traffic scheme will be enforced.

Motorists are advised that a northbound one-way traffic route will be implemented at the East service road from Alabang viaduct going to Sucat Interchange on or before October 13. While, the West service road and Baybayin will remain two-way in traffic as usual.

The representatives of the business establishments located in the area agreed to the new rerouting plan and requested that the new traffic scheme to be disseminated and implemented immediately.

As for the Skyway extension project along the East service road, EEI Project Manager Joe Ilagan said at least forty-one columns will be erected and the project’s bored piles and columns will be situated in between the service road and expressway. This is why road space is reduced resulting worse traffic on both the service road and the northbound lane of the SLEX.

The elevated toll road extension project from Sucat skyway off-ramp to Soldiers Hills, Muntinlupa is expected to be completed by December 2020.

Until that project is completed and traffic relief is realized, we motorists really have to adjust ourselves and be more patient using the SLEX. Heavy traffic obviously costs the nation’s economy (and us, the people) a lot of money and time. Imagine all the appointments, all the planned flights, all the opportunities get lost because SLEX northbound traffic prevented people from reaching their respective destination.

As the Christmas season approaches, vehicular traffic will get even worse due to the anticipated rise in business transactions related to Christmas-related spending. Take for example, the many commercial joints here in South Metro Manila. People will go out to the shopping malls (in Parañaque, Muntinlupa and Las Piñas), the bazaars and in BF Homes to buy items for gift-giving. Trucks will be going around to deliver food (example: catering), hardware and other ordered products.

Better start getting used to the new normal along SLEX. Plan your moves ahead of time as well.

Cyberzone Mobile Fest 2019 at SM City BF Parañaque This Weekend!

Hi readers! If you love technology, you live here in South Metro Manila and you are looking for a special event to attend, then you should attend the Cyberzone Mobile Fest 2019 at SM City BF Parañaque along Dr. A. Santos Avenue, Parañaque City this weekend (June 21 to 23).

Prepare yourselves for the much-awaited annual showcase of the country’s latest and most affordable smartphones at the Cyberzone Mobile Fest 2019 in partnership with Huawei and Smart at the Atrium of the mall.

There is a lot learning you can gain from the top influencers on the latest in technology and you can get a chance to win exciting giveaways from event partners Vivo, Samsung, Xiaomi, Realme, Power Mac Center, Huawei and Smart. Here’s a quick rundown of what to expect at the event which has the following activities.

Digital Quiz. Test your tech knowledge and take a digital tech quiz for a chance to win a brand new smartphone! Promo will run every weekend per event leg so keep visiting Cyberzone Mobile Fest 2019 for more chances of winning!

Fun Tech Talks. Enrich your knowledge about mobile trends through exclusive brand talks and workshops from top influencers.

Mobile Legends Tournament. What better way to spend time than with tech-minded friends? Gather your squad to compete in the mobile legends tournament for a chance to win more prizes!

Special Deals. Enjoy awesome finds and eye-popping discounts — from phone accessories to mobile devices — from leading mobile brands.

The Cyberzone Mobile Fest 2019 will continue in the following SM malls: Cebu (June 28-30), Sucat (July 5-7), Davao (July 12-14), Legazpi (July 19-21), and North EDSA (July 26-28).
No matter what your tech interest is, whether it is gaming, virtual reality, cosplay, or photography, there is something to discover and enjoy at the Cyberzone! For more information, visit http://www.smsupermalls.com.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com