On the road

Buendia to Balintawak in 20 minutes


There was a time when driving from Alabang to Makati or vice versa took at least 45 minutes. Now, thanks to the elevated Skyway 2 from Nichols to Alabang, it takes only around 12 minutes.

And it gets better. Citra Metro Manila Tollways Corp., which designed and built Skyway Stages 1 and 2, is proposing to construct Skyway Stage 3 connecting the South Luzon Expressway (SLEx) at Alabang to Balintawak before the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx), thereby linking the major toll networks (Southern Tagalog Arterial Road or STAR, SLEx and NLEx) and drastically reducing travel time for motorists and commuters.

Nowadays, passing through EDSA from Buendia to reach Balintawak takes about an hour and a half—longer during peak hours. Skyway 3 would give motorists and commuters coming from Makati the option to skip bumpy, heavily congested EDSA or C5 and get to their destination in Quezon City in 20 minutes. Or from Makati to Sta. Mesa and Manila in 10 minutes.

Smoother. Travel time will not only be faster, it will also be smoother. Judging from the meticulousness with which Somco [Skyway O&M Corp.] maintains the ground level and elevated Skyway 1 and 2, the proposed 14-kilometer Skyway 3 from Buendia to Balintawak should offer motorists a smooth, world-class six-lane highway. People living near Balintawak can be in Makati or the airport in only 15 minutes instead of getting stuck in traffic for an hour or so and wasting fuel.

Skyway 3 will have eight access points—Buendia, Quirino Avenue, Plaza Dilao, Aurora Boulevard, E. Rodriguez Avenue, Quezon Boulevard, Sgt. Rivera and Balintawak—that will enable residents in Manila and Quezon City to travel swiftly, safely and conveniently to and from south, center and north of Metro Manila. In effect, Skyway 3 will be an efficient corridor above the narrow, congested roads of the metropolis that will not require a government subsidy.

Citra Metro Manila Tollways Corp. (CMMTC), which recently formed a joint venture with San Miguel Corp. to secure control over the SLEx, the STAR tollway and Metro Manila Skyway, has submitted an updated investment proposal for Skyway 3 to the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) as an extension of the existing Skyway 1 and 2, and as part of the four-stage Metro Manila Skyway Project approved by the Ramos administration in 1995. Since it is not an unsolicited proposal, according to the opinion of the TRB, backed up by the Department of Justice, it is not subject to a challenge by other bidders.

Unsolicited. However, the Metro Pacific Tollways Corp., which operates and manages the NLEx and Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx) under an interim agreement with the Bases Conversion Development Authority, has submitted to the DPWH an unsolicited proposal to build a 13.2-kilometer connector road running along the tracks of the Philippine National Railways (PNR) to link the SLEx aand NLEx. Citra claims that before Metro Pacific can start building its connector road, it will have to tackle right-of-way problems that may take five years to resolve. On the other hand, the Skyway 3 project is ready for implementation this year and can be completed within two years, Citra says.

Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson, who worked for Maynilad Water Services Inc. before joining the government, told reporters that he has endorsed Metro Pacific’s connector road proposal to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), which reviews foreign-funded infrastructure projects. Maynilad is one of the companies in the Metro Pacific group headed by tycoon Manuel V. Pangilinan, the arch rival of San Miguel Corp. president Ramon Ang in multibillion-peso business deals.

The TRB, which is under the Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC) headed by former Sen. Mar Roxas, is reviewing Citra’s updated proposal and has not yet recommended it to the NEDA.  Fortunately, before the perceived brewing clash between the DPWH and DOTC over the tollway projects could come to a head, Secretary Singson announced that he was recommending both the Citra and Metro Pacific proposals to President Aquino since they are two different projects catering to two different markets. Both companies welcomed Singson’s endorsement.

Right now, driving from Buendia to Balintawak in only 20 minutes is only a dream. But in two years it can be a reality, depending on President Aquino’s next move.

Correction: Contrary to what I wrote last May 9, (“Should the expressways’ speed limit be increased?”) the Skyway Patrol men are authorized to apprehend overspeeding motorists since they are deputized by the Land Transportation Office.

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  • floydelyn

    alisin lahat ng jeepneys, tricycles and pedicabs. ayusin lahat ng kalye na puede daanan ng double-deckers and use designated stops. double deckers use less space and carry more passengers. massive gov’t subsidy and heavy regulation is needed to keep fares down and operations in order. you can’t leave this to private business, bababuyin lang ng private business at corrupt regulators yan. 
    engineer the routes so that everyone can go south to east and vice versa, south to west and back, south to north and back, and so on. right now there are no respectable or decent travel routes from east to west, south to north & back lang using EDSA at bulok pa pa EDSA. also deploy new & sturdy double-deckers (no china brands please) and imprison anyone who defaces or causes even a dent on each. 
    think about it, this also prepares the city for the tourism drive of the government. but with or without tourism dollars, we must do this, if only to show respect to ourselves. 

  • akramgolteb

    Pagcontruct ng skyway, mas mabigat na traffic lang ang mangyayari. Sa bagal ng processo ng gobyerno natin pagbigay ng permit at right of way mabilis na ang 10 taon bago matapos ang skyway 3, patay ang negosyo sa sakop ng contruction area.  May nagpropose na Indonesian group dati ng highway na tatawirin ang Laguna de Bai mula boundary ng Paranaque at Laguna hangang mga bayan ng Cainta at Taytay. Maraming malalaking truck galing sa industrial zone sa Paranaque-Laguna area ang nagdedeliver ng raw materials sa mga pabrika sa East M Mla & vice versa. Kung hindi na sila dadaaan ng Edsa o C5, laking bawas sa traffic volume sa South at Central M Mla, pati traffic sa Ortgas Extension mababawasan. Hindi pa abala ang construction sa traffic. Mga ganitong plano ang dapat ipatupad.

    • Boy Mcdo

       aprub sakin to

  • Russo

    ewan k ba kung bakit nagsisiksikan tong mga bata ni Ramos sa North harbor???? wala nang madaanan yang mga bwiset na Container Trucks, Eto naman si Mayor Lim bakit pinapayagan may naka Park sa ibabaw nang Del Pan bridge, tanda ko na to ngayon k lang nakita may naka park na Container truck sa ibabaw,prone to accident sa gabi kakapal nang mga mukha nitong sina Marzan bata ni Lim

  • Russo

    Use the railtrack to carry containers, connect it to the port itself.They should remove the Container Port in Manila

  • John

    As OFW one simple solution remove the present POEA procedure sa balik manggagawa  and other pertinent documentation, they are useless. I am almost 30 yrs as OFW but the procedure and problem is the same walang nagbabago abala at hazzle sa amin na nagbabakasyun at napaka halaga ng oras para sa pamilya nauubos lang sa POEA. Not  only that it adds the monstrous traffic problem in Metro manila.

    Actually POEA need only to collect money from us nothing else why not simply it, sa bank na lang kami magbayad then online printing na lang ang EOC, Philheath at OWWA membership. and it will help to decongest the traffic in Manila and other regional cities.

    Imagine almost 10,000 OFW and Seaman flock to POEA every day, just to get this documents plus kasama ang asawa or sometimes mga anak, consider asawa na lang so the number will double to 20,000 plus other alipores, this translates into almost minimum of 500 buses one way so uuwi pagkatapos so 1000 buses  is just for POEA  location alone.

    Baguhin nyo procedure huwag na po kami papuntahin sa POEA on line transaction at bank payment na lang pati submission ng documents, so 500 buses will be instantly removed in Metro Manila alone. Sa mga bakasyunista pa lang yan.

    We have many ways to help the traffic situation in our country, also is this project free to use after they finished it ????? Of course not yes 20 minutes nga bayad ka naman ng 300 pesos.

    Ay naku mag isip kayo ng simple ways huwag po yung pahirap sa bayan.

    • WeAry_Bat

      Good idea.  Online payments could apply to renewals.

      The only resistance I can imagine would be from the fixers.

  • gyvv

    Topic: Transport system. Let me reiterate: system or systema in Tagalog. I find that many politicians should focus more on making the transport “system” not better but perfect. ( better in tagalog, translates into, pwede na yan ) … The time lost in traveling is time lost in productivity, along with that is financial loss, personally and nationally. In South Korea, buses “only” stop at a designated bus stop. It stays there at around 3-5 seconds and goes, kung walang pasahero bababa or aakyat, go-go-go. Every bus stop has a ‘tv monitor’ so one might know which bus bound for somewhere would arrive next. Kasi naman our politicos are comfortable in their rides but they dont know they are also affected in time lost. The buses also dont stop to pick up passengers every 2 meters or so. In sum, simple math eh, kung nakakintindi ung mga kinauukulan TIME IS MONEY. No matter how high our GNP increases, if the distribution or savings of wealth is uneven among the citizens, where more than 50 percent lives below the poverty line, we would all forever be, a third world country. Only the rich would benefit, but if the people in the right positions would fix the transport system, ‘effectively’, everybody would gain, the rich becomes richer, the poor will become middle class, poverty would slowly be eradicated. It would take decades to make this happen but it has to start somewhere. Sarap naman cguro maging Pinas na First World…

  • gardenstate21

    Another project that excludes the greater majority of Metro Manilans. Study after study shows that increasing road capacity only leads to increased congestion (see studies in Seoul, Korea and a number of US cities). The solution to congestion is not more roads, the solution is an efficient MASS transit system. I’m not talking about more jeepneys and more tricycle, but more space- and energy-efficient buses that take up less road space per passenger compared to jeepneys and tricycles. There’s also a need to rationalize the outdated public transport network. This will only benefit private corporations. Metro Manila is overbuilt.

  • PinoyDude

    Why can’t the government re-open the Metro Manila transit bus system in our cities?

    A rapid bus system with a few stops along major thoroughfares like EDSA, Quezon Ave, Commonwealth etc would be good idea. The government can purchase CNG-powered bus from reliable car/motor vehicle companies. In most countries, it is the State that provides public transportation service, not private companies.

    Another solution is to upgrade and refurbish the PNR. I’ve been to one of their trains imported from Korea they seem to be okay. But I think can do a lot more, by deploying more trains and putting chairs or bench for passengers waiting at the stations.

  • John

    Stop investing in Metro Manila, this will only drive us to more poverty all of this government investment once in place will end up on the hands of some govt officials and influential businessmen on the expense of the people. They only use SALIVA then sa kanila na yung kayamanan ng Bayan look at the case of National Grid Corp, Digitel, Fort Bonifacio, Domsat these are only few sample, govt invested so much on it and How much they sell? Then mamaya sa kanila na??????????

    • pablosantino

      you dont know what your talking about

    • bong

       Out of tune.  

      Digitel is now owned by PLDT.  Fort Bonifacio has BGC, McKinley Hill –  world class districts.    The two new toll roads will partially solve the gridlock in the capital.

      • John

        Hi Bong dont you know that the original Digitel facilities is owned by the govt.After they takeover the system, then they use that so they can apply for the GSM system franchise, but the existing facilities that Gokongwei  acquired is not yet paid they opted it to pay in 30 years.

        Now since they take over the system how much this DIGITEL pay to our govt. Bear in mind this facilities are under our govt loan from different countries and until now we are paying the premium. Be in tune Bong and the the very details of simple manipulation of this so called Business club on the expense of the people.

  • WeAry_Bat

    …and a beautiful toll fee comes with it.

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