Skyway 3 set to open in December

Robie de Guzman   •   October 20, 2020   •   611

MANILA, Philippines – The entire 18-kilometer Skyway stage 3 expressway will have a soft opening in December, the San Miguel Corporation (SMC) announced Tuesday.

SMC President Ramon Ang said the company was confident it would be able to open the Skyway 3 by December despite continuous rains hampering finishing works, including the laying and proper curing of asphalt.

Ang also committed that for the first month, motorists can use the entire stretch of the toll road from Buendia to NLEX for free.

“While we’re still doing a few finishing works, we want the public to be able to use Skyway 3 already and benefit from the convenience and ease of travel that it will bring,” Ang said in a statement.

“We have all waited long for this project, so this is the best way we can welcome everyone, by making Skyway 3 free for one month,” he added.

Skyway 3 connects the South Luzon Expressway and NLEX and will serve as an alternative to EDSA with its access points that traverse Makati, Manila, San Juan, and Quezon City.

The toll road is expected to cut travel time between the country’s two main expressways to just 20 minutes from the 3 hours at present.

“With Skyway 3, we will improve the daily commutes and lives of so many Filipinos. We will lessen their time spent in traffic on the road, we can increase both their productivity and time spent with their families,” Ang said.

“Apart from this, the transportation of goods from north and south Luzon will also be so much easier, faster, and more efficient. This will be a big boost to our economy and support growth throughout the regions,” he added.

For over a year now, SMC also partially opened for public use the Buendia to Plaza Dilao section of Skyway 3. It has remained open and free to date for use by the public without any toll.

After completing the entire structure of Skyway 3 ahead of its October 31 deadline, SMC also earlier announced that it was targeting to deliver the northbound section of the Skyway extension project, which connect SLEX directly to Skyway from Susanna Heights in Muntinlupa, by December.

With this, travel from Susanna Heights through the Skyway System including Skyway 3, all the way to the Balintawak toll plaza of the NLEX, will only take 20 minutes, Ang said.

Meanwhile, travel time from Magallanes to Balintawak will be just 15 minutes; Balintawak to NAIA will be just 15 minutes, and Valenzuela to Makati will only take 10 minutes.

Ang issues personal apology; assures help to victims of Skyway mishap

Maris Federez   •   November 23, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — San Miguel Corporation, the concession holder of the Skyway Extension project, has issued an apology to the victims of the accident at the project site in Brgy. Cupang in Muntinlupa that happened on Saturday (Nov. 21).

Alongside the apology, is the company’s assurance to the victims that their needs and essentials will be taken care of.

In a statement released to the media on Sunday, SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang said that although EEI Corporation was the one handling the construction of the project, the SMC, as project proponent, is taking the responsibility to take care of the victims.

“Even with a contractor handling construction, ultimately, we are responsible for the welfare of those who were affected. I would like to personally apologize to the victims and their families, as well as to our larger community in Muntinlupa,” Ang said.

“This terrible and tragic accident has affected me in ways I can’t even begin to express. I have not stopped thinking about the people who were affected, the four that were injured and most especially, the person who perished, and his family. There are no words that can ease the grief of losing a loved one,” the business mogul said.

“To the family, I can only offer my sincerest and deepest condolences, and my personal assurance that your family will be taken care of. To those who were injured, please be assured we will provide all the means necessary for you to recover and restart,” he added.

The SMC chief also vowed that the incident will be investigated thoroughly, and that company and its contractor EEI will make sure even stricter measures are in place at the project site.

“In a project of this magnitude and scale, there are many redundant safety measures in place.  Unfortunately, we can’t predict every outcome, and I’m sure no one wanted this to happen,” Ang said.

“Regardless, we are working with authorities to determine the root cause of this incident. We will find out where lapses occurred and do whatever is necessary to help make sure they don’t happen again.”

On Saturday, November 21, a crane that was being positioned for its next task tilted and fell on the girder spanning the two posts of the north-bound Skyway extension project.  The girder fell on vehicles below, resulting in one fatality and four injuries. — /mbmf

Business tycoon Danding Cojuangco passes away

Robie de Guzman   •   June 17, 2020

Business tycoon Danding Cojuangco

MANILA, Philippines – Business tycoon Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco, Jr. has passed away. He was 85.

Cojuangco’s death was announced on Wednesday by San Miguel Corporation, where he served as chairman and CEO for more than two decades.

“San Miguel Corporation announces the passing of its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Eduardo M. Cojuangco Jr., on the evening of June 16, 2020,” the company said in a statement.

Cojuangco had been chairman and CEO of San Miguel Corporation since July 1998. He helped shaped the company into one of the country’s largest conglomerates whose stakes include food, beverages, energy, power, oil refining, and infrastructure.

Aside from being a businessman, Cojuangco also ventured into politics as he chaired National People’s Coalition (NPC) party which fielded candidates in local and national races since 1990s.

He also ran for president in 1992 elections but lost to Fidel V. Ramos.

Cojuangco is a cousin of the late President Corazon “Cory” Cojuangco-Aquino and uncle of former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.

Meanwhile, Malacañang condoled with the Cojuangco family as it lauded his “immense” contribution to the socioeconomic development of the Philippines through the San Miguel Corporation.

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Mr. Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco, Jr., at the age of 85,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.

“The Palace offers its fervent prayers for the eternal repose of the soul of Mr. Cojuangco as we convey our heartfelt condolences to his family, colleagues, friends, and loved ones,” he added.

NPC members, including former Senator and now Sorsogon Governor Chiz Escudero, former Senator JV Ejercito, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian and Senate President Vicente Sotto III, also mourned Cojuangco’s passing. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

MMDA to implement traffic adjustments in Alabang, EDSA Balintawak starting Feb. 14

Robie de Guzman   •   February 14, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will implement traffic adjustments and traffic rerouting starting February 14, Friday in areas along Alabang in Muntinlupa City and Balintawak in Quezon City to give way to the ongoing construction of Skyway Extension and Skyway Stage 3 projects.

In an advisory, the MMDA said that beginning 11 p.m. Friday, one lane closure will be implemented on EDSA Balintawak Northbound towards North Luzon Expressway to give way to the erection of vertical bridge support under the EDSA Bridge as part of the Skyway Stage 3 project.

Light vehicles going to NLEX and Monumento are advised take the Balintawak Interchange ramp going to Cubao and take the U-turn slot after Cloverleaf Market going to NLEX.

Meanwhile, two lanes will be closed on EDSA Balintawak going to Cubao on Sunday, February 16 for the erection of interconnection flatform tower on top of EDSA Bridge.

Light vehicles coming from Monumento via EDSA before reaching Balintawak may turn right to A. de Jesus St. then left to C3 to destination.

The MMDA said the lane closures will be until March 5.

The agency also announced that starting 6 a.m. of February 16, one-way traffic scheme for southbound vehicles will be implemented in West Service Road of South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) from Alabang Hills to Alabang Zapote Road to give way to the construction of Skyway Extension from Hillsborough to Filinvest Exit.

Skyway-Hillsborough off-ramp will be closed to traffic, and Class 2 vehicles such as buses and delivery vans from Magallanes to Alabang are not allowed along the elevated Skyway.

One-way traffic will also be implemented on Northbound lane of Alabang temporary Steel Ramp from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m., daily.

The MMDA said the same traffic scheme will also be implemented along Skyway from Sucat Interchange to Alabang-Zapote Road and on Southbound lane of Alabang temporary Steel Ramp daily from 9 a.m. to 5 a.m. of the following day.

The agency said the construction will last for three months.

Affected vehicles northbound are advised to take the Alabang via-duct at grade level.

Further, girders will also be launched along A. Bonifacio where one lane going to NLEX will remain passable and two lanes for those going to Manila for eight nights from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. on February 22 to 29.

Motorists are advised to take the following alternate routes:

1.     Light vehicles going to NLEX and Monumento may take the Balintawak Interchange ramp going to Cubao and take the U-turn slot after Cloverleaf Market going to NLEX.

2.     Light vehicles going to Novaliches and NLEX may take zipper lane at the left immediately before the construction site towards destination.

3.     Light vehicles from NLEX (going to Manila/Caloocan) may take the Balintawak Interchange Ramp going to Monumento via EDSA then left to A. De Jesus St. then left to C3 to destination.


The MMDA said the construction will last for 21 days or until March 5.

The Skyway Stage 3 is a 14.8-kilometer elevated tollway project which connects Skyway/SLEX Buendia to NLEX Balintawak while the Skyway Extension project extends the existing toll road to Susana Heights/Muntinlupa-Cavite Expressway.

Both the Skyway Stage 3 and Skyway Extension Projects are part of the government’s “Build, Build, Build” program.

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