Filipino families, especially from the provinces, have at least one member who moved to Metropolitan Manila to look for a greener pasture. They flew away from home to chase better education, career development, and investment opportunities in the megacity.
There is no question why Metro Manila, also known as the National Capital Region (NCR), is the leading migrant destination in the country, which welcomes most of the 49 percent of Filipinos aged 15 and older who have changed residence within the Philippines, according to the 2018 National Migration Survey. The 2020 Census of Population and Housing conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority said Metro Manila is home to 13.4 million Filipinos, making it the most populous region in the country and the third most populous urban area globally.
The Philippines’ education, economic and political capital continue to entice local migrants and foreigners who travel for tourism and business purposes. While this is an advantage to the economic arena, the influx of people in the capital region also triggers strain on the essential services. Imagine when a large chunk of the Metro Manila population simultaneously goes out and travels using the highway like what happens every day. No one can turn a blind eye to the congested traffic, can you?
Traffic nightmare in Metro Manila
Drivers in Metro Manila have to waste an average of 53 percent of their time on the clogged highways in 2020, technology specialist TomTom (TOM2) said. That year, it was reported that the Philippines’ capital region ranked second among the 416 cities in the world with the worst traffic congestion. It also ranked second in 2019 when drivers have to spend 71 percent of their travel time stuck in thoroughfares.
There is much grind to do for the capital region to achieve a flawless transportation system. With the help of government agencies and private entities, the current administration has kept the ball rolling. The government’s aggressive stunt on infrastructure continues to decongest major roads and develop new linkages. The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said three-fourths of the administration’s ‘Build, Build, Build’ program is allotted to 53 projects in Luzon. Twenty-five of these infrastructure projects are located in Metro Manila.
The new and rising infrastructures in the national capital are expected to spur the economy and improve the overall transport system.
Bonifacio Global City-Ortigas Center Link Road Project
Now more than ever, the commercial districts of Bonifacio Global City in Taguig and Ortigas center are equally more accessible to the workforce and the general public and have become the locations business tycoons can hardly resist. All the economic advantages are coming into these areas, and one of the magnets that pull them here are the new infrastructure projects like the BGC-Ortigas Center Link Road Project.
The 1.48-kilometer linkage with a PHP1.79-billion price tag began catering vehicles in September. The project allows motorists to reach BGC from Ortigas Center and vice versa for only 12 minutes as it complements the four-lane Kalayaan Bridge segment that connects Sta. Monica, Pasig City and Lawton Avenue, Makati City. It forms part of the more extensive EDSA Decongestion Program, which aims to regain EDSA’s original capacity of 288 000 vehicles daily.
In attendance during the inauguration was President Duterte, who banks on the project to bring long-term benefits to several businesses, travelers, and the Filipino people. DPWH Secretary Mark Villar was also present. He underscored that the new project would ease the traffic volume from nearby Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue and C-5 Road sections by 20 percent.
Motorists going south started to enjoy the ease of using the southbound portion of the Skyway Extension Project since it opened to the public in December last year. Mainly, travelers going to Cavite, Laguna, and Batangas achieve faster travel to the SLEX with the new road opening.
The Skyway Extension Project’s southbound lanes conclude before the SLEX Susana Heights off-ramp – making way for the motorists to bypass the traffic congestion onto the steel ramp. In addition, it can expedite the travel of vehicles heading to Alabang.
The northbound segment of the Skyway Extension was opened in April last year, earlier than its southbound counterpart. Ang reduced travel time to NLEX from two to three hours to only 24 to 30 minutes, adding that the three-lane northbound segment can serve up to 4,500 vehicles per hour. The section is open to Class 1 vehicles with RFID.
South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) Elevated Extension Project
Travel time between Multinlupa and Balintawak is reduced to 30 minutes after the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) Elevated Extension Project was completed and fully operational in February this year. The PHP14-billion infrastructure project connects Skyway in Sucat, Paranaque to SLEX at Susanna Heights in Muntinlupa. It likewise bypasses the Alabang viaduct and gives drivers complete access to Skyways 1, 2, and 3. SLEX Elevation Extension Project covers four kilometers and includes two lanes.
It was soft-opened in December last year and was formally inaugurated in February by President Rodrigo Duterte. The top government official underscored the project’s benefit in pushing for upgraded mobility and addressing traffic woes. He said it also backs economic development and productivity in and around Metro Manila.
Ramon Ang, CEO and president of project concessionaire San Miguel Corporation (SMC), said that the newly-opened road extension could “play a significant part” in economic recovery. He said the project supports faster and more efficient travel, accommodating about 200,000 vehicles daily, northbound and southbound.
Binondo-Intramuros Bridge Project
Are you planning a trip to top tourist destinations in Metro Manila? Well, this is a piece of good news for you! We know that the Chinatown of Manila, Binondo, and the walled city of Intramuros is on your itinerary. You can now travel between these places stress-free as the new Binondo-Intramuros Bridge eliminates the traffic issues.
The Binondo-Intramuros Road Project was inaugurated in April this year, making it one of the most recent road infrastructures that opened in 2022. The iconic bridge spans 680 meters, crosses the Pasig River in the City of Manila, and connects Solana Street and Riverside Drive in Intramuros to Muella de la Industria and Plaza Conde Street in Binondo. It involves the new four-lane bridge and viaduct. Around 30,000 motorists can use the bridge every day, which can also serve as an alternative route to Jones Bridge.
The infrastructure project was funded through the PHP5.27 billion grant by the People’s Republic of China during the President’s China visit in 2017. The Binondo-Intramuros Road Project has a project cost of PHP3.39 billion. The rest of the grant was used to fund the Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge, connecting Estrella, Makati City, to Barangka Drive, Mandaluyong City, completed in July last year.
North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) Connector Project
Another hero is coming to rescue traffic-weary motorists and commuters in Metro Manila, and now it is halfway ready to start its mission.
As of February this year, NLEX Connector Project, which will extend NLEX southward from Segment 10 to Skyway Stage 3, is 45 percent complete, according to the Department of Public Works and Highways. The PHP23.3-billion project broke ground in May 2019. The construction of Section 1 (Caloocan and Manila) is 64.79 percent complete, while Section 2 (Manila) is 1.31 percent done.
The NLEX Connector Project includes a couple of interchanges at C3 Road/5th Avenue, Caloocan, and España, Manila. Once done, the Connector Project will make the two-hour travel time from SLEX to NLEX just 20 minutes. Likewise, it will cut the grueling 3-hour travel from Clark to Calamba to 1 hour and 40 minutes while providing upgraded connectivity between NAIA and Clark Airports. The DPWH said at least 35,000 vehicles could pass by the new linkage daily once it starts accommodating traffic by the third quarter of next year.
Metro Rail Transit (MRT) 7
Even before the –ber months, we can already look forward to the good tidings about to come in 2023 as another infrastructure for upgraded mobility is promised before this year’s end.
President Rodrigo Duterte said that the PHP77-billion Metro Rail Transit (MRT) 7 will be “partially operational” by the last quarter this 2022. The elevated railway line spans 23 kilometers and has 14 stations from San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan, to MRT 3 North Avenue in Quezon City. It also includes:
· Asphalt road spanning 22 kilometers from Bocaue Interchange of the North Luzon Expressway to the intermodal terminal in Tala,
· electric power systems,
· signaling systems,
· computer and communications system, and
· automatic fare systems.
Duterte said the completion of the project, which broke ground in April 2016, already exceeded 60 percent in December last year. The current three-hour travel between North Avenue in Quezon City to San Jose del Monte, Bulacan, will be reduced to 35 minutes once the MRT-7 is fully operational. Around 300,000 passengers will benefit from the project in the first year of its operation and climb up to a whopping 850,000 passengers daily after 12 years. Hitting two birds with one stone, MRT-7 will decongest the capital region’s main thoroughfare, EDSA, while providing commuters a safe and pollution-free transportation system.
Metro Manila Subway Project
Save the best for last.
While this one comes last on our list, it is undeniable that it is among the most anticipated infrastructure projects in Metro Manila: the 36-kilometer-long Metro Manila Subway Project, which will rise as the country’s first mass underground transport system. With its completion date set in 2025, the project is expected to benefit 370,000 commuters in the NCR from Valenzuela City to FTI in Taguig City, Parañaque City, and Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 in Pasay City. Moreover, it will provide mass transit from North Caloocan or Meycauayan in the north and Dasmariñas, Cavite in the south. According to its design capacity, it can accommodate 1.5 million passengers daily and has a maximum operating speed of 80 kilometers per hour. Practically speaking, in just 35 minutes, you can reach NAIA if you are from Quezon City!
Another good news, the subway project’s construction has been fast and continuous since it broke ground in February 2019. The Department of Transportation (DOTr) said its completion rate is 30.55 percent as of February this year. Meanwhile, the two-phased subway project has a P488.5-billion tag price. It is funded by the official development assistance from the Japanese government through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Philippine government.
Transport Infrastructures in Metro Manila Pave Way for Economic Development
Looking beyond the value of new infrastructure to commuters, the mentioned road networks also shoot NCR’s economy to unimaginable heights. It is generally known that improved roads result in more accessible transport of products from farm to market, faster travel of the working population to their sites and offices, and lesser risk of road accidents. Viewing this through an economic lens, the government’s infrastructure program pushed the Philippines’ economic growth to an unanticipated 6.9 percent growth in 2017. This made the country, which used to be at the bottom of the infrastructure ranking, become globally competitive.
It is safe to say that the new road infrastructures made Metro Manila all the more attractive among investors and home-hunters, bringing more advantages to the real estate industry. Who can’t say no to doing business and residing in the capital with improved mobility, right? You can take the population boom in the capital region by investing in a house and lot in Metro Manila. While overcrowding in NCR is already a given, you can be assured that the government and private bodies continue to undertake infrastructure programs to achieve a balance of progress and upgraded mobility.
Narrowing down your choices, you can look for available properties in Camella Verra Metro North in Valenzuela and Camella Dasma At The Islands in Cavite. These top-notch house and lot developments are among the first to benefit from the new transport infrastructure in Metro Manila, specifically the Metro Manila Subway Project.
With the new and rising infrastructure project, you can easily access your needs. This, as Camella Homes, the most trusted housing brand in the country, makes sure that you are near emerging developments. There are several house models at reasonable prices if you are looking to invest in a property or a home to raise your family. You can achieve comfortable and peaceful life in NCR with Camella Homes as you have access to complete amenities in a community protected with CCTVs and roving guards 24/7.