Rehab works on Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge to commence Jan. 19

Marje Pelayo   •   January 11, 2019   •   1682

Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge over  Pasig River in Makati City | Photo by: Judgefloro
Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge over Pasig River in Makati City | Photo by: Judgefloro

MANILA, Philippines — It’s all systems go for the rehabilitation of the Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge on January 19 after being put on hold for several times.

The structure connects Estrella in Makati and Barangka Drive in Mandaluyong City.

The plan to rehabilitate the bridge has been deferred three times already.

According to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the structure is just seven years old and based on its original design, it only has a 25,000 carrying capacity.

However, there are at least 35,000 vehicles plying the bridge every single day which have caused its pavement to weaken and be at risk of collapse.

“Bukod sa paluluwangin, tinitignan din namin yung preparedness nito sa the ‘big one’ na sinasabi ng Philvocs na diyan sa Mandaluyong area eh pine-predict ang intensity,” said DPWH project manager Toyet Castillo.

The DPWH plans to add two more lanes to the bridge’s existing two so that more vehicles will be able to ply on the bridge.

There will also be expansion of the sidewalks and strengthening of its foundation.

The project costs P1.47 billion but the government will not shoulder any amount since the overall fund is a grant from China.

The bridge will be temporarily closed to motorists for a period of three years.

For this reason, motorists are advised to take an alternative route.

Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) sees heavy traffic situation especially in Makati because of the bridge’s closure.

“Dati ang average niyan para makatawid ka sa bridge mga 10 minutes lang nandoon ka na sa kabila. Kapag nagsara iyan, mga 30 minutes, kasi iikot ka pa. Pero I doubt it, baka 1 hour,” explained MMDA general manager, Jose Arturo Garcia.

The MMDA is now coordinating with the traffic bureaus from Makati and Mandaluyong to help clear the roads that will serve as alternative routes for motorists.

Aside from the Estrella-Pantaleon bridge, the MMDA also plans to begin the rehabilitation of Guadalupe Bridge in Makati and Lambingan Bridge in Manila. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Joan Nano)

DPWH Secretary says 5-minute Cubao-Makati travel time possible

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 2, 2019

Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar has said that the 5-minute travel time from Cubao to Makati can be done.

Villar explained that major road projects in Metro Manila which are set to be opened will help in making the 5-minute travel time possible.

These projects include Manila Skyway Stage 3 Project, NLEX Harbor Link, and C5 South Link Expressway which are expected to be finished by the end of the year.

Villar said 200,000 vehicles would need to be taken out in order to reduce traffic along EDSA.

“To revert back to a level of traffic when we finish the Skyway Project it will reduce traffic by 100,000 vehicles. When the NLEX (North Luzon Expressway) Harbor Link connector is completed it will minimize 50,000 vehicles. When C-6 is finished we reduce another 50,000,” he said.

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has recorded around 400,000 vehicles traversing EDSA everyday which exceeds its capacity of 288,000 vehicles.

Meanwhile, aside from the DPWH, the Philippine National Police (PNP) Highway Patrol Group also thinks the 5-minute travel time is possible especially when traffic laws will be strictly implemented.—AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

Manila Water releases list of areas to be given full bill waiver

Robie de Guzman   •   April 1, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Manila Water Services has released a partial list of areas that have been validated as “severely affected” by the water supply shortage that was experienced in parts of Metro Manila and Rizal province last month.

Listed below are barangays that were validated as severely affected:

MANDALUYONG

  • Barangay Addition Hills
  • Barangay Barangka Drive
  • Barangay Plainview
  • Barangay Highway Hills
  • Barangay Hulo

PASIG

  • Barangay Kapitolyo
  • Barangay Bagong Ilog
  • Barangay Oranbo

TAGUIG

  • Barangay Upper Bicutan

RIZAL

  • Barangay Mambog in Binangonan

Around 152,000 households from 44 severely affected barangays will be given a full bill waiver for their March consumption, as announced by the Manila Water last week. This will be reflected on their April bill.

READ: Manila Water waives minimum charge in April bill

The utility company said the minimum charge in the April bill will be fully waived if residents experienced water service outage for at least seven days, whether consecutive or not.

The minimum charge is equivalent to the value of 10 cubic meters of water, which ranges from P76 to P656, depending on whether the supply is for domestic or industrial use.

The one-time full waiver, however, does not apply to any previous unpaid amount of consumers.  – Robie de Guzman

Study: Manila, PH is world’s fastest growing luxury home market

Robie de Guzman   •   March 8, 2019

Elevated night view of Makati City, the financial capital of Metro Manila. (Rhouell Carino|PVI)

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine capital of Manila has been tagged as the world’s fastest growing luxury home market for 2018, based on a study published by Knight Frank Prime International Index.h

The latest report of property consultancy agency Knight Frank showed that Manila beat obvious candidates such as Berlin in Germany, Tokyo in Japan, Paris in France and Singapore in the ranking of top cities on how much prices for luxury homes have increased in the past year.

The report said the City of Manila experienced an increase in the prices of luxury homes by 11 percent in 2018, buoyed by the Philippines’ strengthening economy and an apparent shortage of luxury homes. Also contributing to the increase in prices are the low supply and the increased demand from wealthy foreigners living in Manila.

Knight Frank also reported that the country’s economy grew by six percent in 2018, which attracted more Filipino expatriates to invest in properties back home.

But despite its top ranking, the report said the overall growth in luxury home prices is dwindling, and Manila’s price growth is still far from last year’s top performers, which saw a 21 percent overall growth. The deceleration was attributed to the end of real estate low interest rates, which boomed in 2008.

The study also cited the significant slowing down of luxury home growth in the Philippines after the developers’ renewed their focus on more affordable housing amid predictions that there is more demand in the low to medium-end markets.

Apart from Manila, the only other Southeast Asian city that made it to the top ten of list of 100 cities was Singapore, which ranked 7th overall after registering a 9.1 percent increase in luxury home prices.

In the West, Edinburgh ranked second with 10.6 percent growth followed by Berlin, Germany with 10.5 percent, Munich and Buenos Aires both with 10 percent; Mexico city ranked sixth with 9.5 percent while Madrid landed at 9th pace after registering an increase of 8.1 percent in luxury home prices.

Boston, Massachusetts in the United States ranked 8th after gaining 8.6 percent increase while San Francisco placed at 10th.

Beijing, China ranked 25th with only four percent increase while Hong Kong ranked 47th overall with 1.8 percent increase in luxury home prices. – Robie de Guzman

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