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NLEX Connector Caloocan-España Section opens March 29, toll-free for now

The C3 Caloocan Interchange with the road going to Espana, from Espana going to Port Area, Manila, from Port Area to Espana. Photo by Anton Luis Catindig

After its inauguration with President Marcos, the 5-km Caloocan-España Section of the NLEX Connector will be open to the motoring public starting 12:01a.m., March 29, and toll will not yet be collected for a limited time.

“We are offering free access for a limited period, so motorists can experience for themselves the convenience of using the NLEX Connector,” said NLEX Corporation President J. Luigi L. Bautista.

NLEX will issue another announcement to advise motorists when it will start collecting toll for this new expressway built to improve mobility and deliver economic development opportunities in north and south Luzon.

With the opening of the first section of the elevated expressway, motorists may now enjoy the comfort of traveling between Caloocan and Manila in just five minutes instead of 30 minutes or more when using local roads. This is very timely as NLEX anticipates the influx of travelers during Holy Week.

While the new road is designed to cater to all expressway vehicle classifications, the NLEX management will strictly enforce the 60 kph speed limit for trucks, and 80 kph speed limit for cars/SUVs, buses, as well as motorcycles with displacement 400cc and above.

Traversing highly urbanized areas such as C3 Road/5th Ave., Blumentritt, and España in Sampaloc, Manila, the first section of NLEX Connector is expected to ease traffic along España Boulevard, Abad Santos Avenue, Rizal Avenue, and Lacson Avenue and provide easier access to several areas including the University Belt. It is also seen to benefit the trucking and logistics sector since cargo trucks will have 24/7 access in this new road, and in turn facilitate more efficient delivery of goods.

The NLEX Connector Caloocan – España Section has two wide lanes per direction and entry and exit ramps at C3 Road and España.

Last Monday, March 27, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. led the inauguration of the NLEX Connector Caloocan-España Section along with Public Works and Highways Secretary Manuel Bonoan and Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista.  Also present were Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC) and Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC) Chairman Manuel Pangilinan, MPTC President Rodrigo Franco, and NLEX Corporation President J. Luigi Bautista.

NLEX Corporation is a subsidiary of the Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC), the toll road arm of the Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC).

From the Fields to your local SM Supermall, Bringing the Best of Farmers’ Harvests to You, at the SM Sunday Market

Shoppers lined up to buy homegrown fruits and vegetables at SM City Marilao’s SM Sunday Market. Sunday Market is one of the many initiatives of SM that aims to support and promote local farmers by providing them with platform to showcase their produce and sell them to a wider audience.

Now open at 26 malls nationwide, from 7AM to 2PM, the SM Sunday Market has begun to offer fresh produce and fruits in season, flowers and plants grown by local farmers.

The SM Sunday Market is a joint initiative of SM Supermalls, SM Cares, and the SM Foundation Inc. (SMFI) which spotlights its Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan (KSK) program. This helps hundreds of local food producers by providing them with high-traffic locations at SM malls nationwide to display and market their products to weekend shoppers, employees, and tenants. 

Since 2020, SM Foundation has helped 28,500 local farmers from different municipalities nationwide by equipping them with modern and sustainable farming skills.

SM City Marilao set Sunday Market booths at the ground level of the mall to help consumers and shoppers purchase fresh, locally-sourced produce at reasonable prices. SM Sunday Market is one of the many initiatives of SM that seek to aid and boost local farmers and small-scale food producers by allowing them to showcase and sell their crops to a broader customer base.

As we approach Holy Week, traditionally a time for meatless meat choices, you can opt to drop by the SM Sunday Market with your family, friends, and furbabies! As you fill your baskets with the best of their harvest, at farmgate prices, you help local farmers thrive and grow their small businesses.  

The SM Sunday Market is currently serving the community at: SM City Cabanatuan, SM City Tarlac, SM City Pampanga, SM City Clark, SM City Baliwag,  SM Center Pulilan, SM City Marilao, SM City Taytay, SM City Lucena, SM City Bacoor, SM City Dasmariñas, SM City Trece Martires, SM City Tanza, SM City Santa Rosa, SM City Calamba, SM City San Pablo, SM City Batangas, SM City Lipa, SM City Naga, SM City Legazpi, SM City Puerto Princesa, SM Center Ormoc, SM City Iloilo, SM City Cebu, SM City Butuan, SM CDO Uptown, and  SM Lanang Premier.

Support your local farmers and give your family nutritious farm to table dishes. Stay tuned for more updates about the SM Sunday Market by visiting www.smsupermalls.com or following @smsupermalls on social media.

Malasakit sa Marsong tag-init, Free laboratory exam at gamot handog ni Vice Mayor Tugna


Nasa 150 most needy indigents at mga may sakit sa Barangay Lolomboy, Bocaue ang hahandugan ng libreng laboratory exam, eye consultation, eyeglasses (kapag inadvice po ng doctor) at gamot sa pamamagitan ng medical mission na handog ng kanilang Vice Mayor Atty. Sherwin N. Tugna. 

Ang tulong sa mga taga Barangay Lolomboy na gagawin sa Covered Court ng lugar 6 a.m. – 10 a.m ngayong araw, Marso 31 ay bilang isang maagap na medical attention ng pangalawang ama ng Bayan ng Bocaue para sa kanyang mga nasasakupan lalo na ngayong panahon ng tag-init kung saan marami ang maaring tamaan ng hypertension, heat stroke kaya mahalagang magawan ng medical laboratory exam upang matukoy agad kung may karamdaman. 

Kabilang sa laboratory exam ang FBS, Total Cholesterol check, BUN, Uric Acid, CBC with platelet, Urinalysis, SGPT, ECG, Eye exam, eyeglass at gamot.

Ayon sa bise alkalde, ang aktibidad ay una pa lamang sa kanyang programa para sa buong bayan na paglalapit ng serbisyong pangkalusugan sa mamamayan at marami pa ang mga nakalinyang susunod pang handog na proyekto. 

Nauna na rito ang iba pang naging handog at tulong na katulad bg ganitong programa kabilang ang palagiang free legal services, gift and feeding programs at marami pang iba. 

Ipinaalala rin ng opisyal ang palagiang pag-inom ng tubig at pag-iwas sa maiinit na lugar at direktang pagkabilad sa init ng araw upang maiwasan ang ano mang sakit ngayong Marso at Abril na tag-init. 



Score the best deals with discounts of as much as 70% off on countless items mall-wide at SM Center Pulilan’s 3-Day Sale happening on March 31 to April 2. You may also check out the latest finds from SM Hypermarket, Ace Hardware, Watsons, SM Appliance Center, Sports Central, Simply Shoes, Surplus, and Miniso. Purchases could even bring you a heap of chances to bring home a brand-new SUZUKI S-PRESSO SPECIAL EDITION MT! To join, shoppers may avail of P1000 worth of purchases to earn 1 e-raffle entry. Increase your chances of winning by getting additional coupons on Saturday (April 1) and Sunday (April 2) to double the entries. Snip hunt only at SM Center Pulilan’s 3-DAY SALE hurrah and mark March 31 to April 2 all the way from 10am-9pm.  Hitch the best deals and bring home loads and loads of goodies for you and your family! For more information, follow SM Center Pulilan on Facebook and Instagram.

Marilao councilman gunned down


CAMP GEN. ALEJO SANTOS, Bulacan–A 37 year old councilman in Marilao was gunned down in Sta. Maria early morning on Wednesday. 

Bulacan police director Col. Relly Arnedo identified the victim as Aldrin Santos, of Barangay Poblacion 2, Marilao town. 

He was standing and talking to his uncle infront of JPMS Driving School in Barangay Bagbaguin im Sta. Maria town at around 7:30 a.m. when one unidentified armed suspect on board a motorcycle fired successive shots on him. 

Santos also works in the said driving school, police said. 

Based on Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) footage, the lone gun fired on the victim three times on his chest using his left hand while at the same time drives a colored black Honda TMX motorcycle and was wearing white helmet, white jacket and black short pants. 

After the councilman felll on the ground, the suspect then drove off towards Barangay Turo, Bocaue. 

The victim was rushed in Specialist Medical Center in Bocaue but expired while undergoing treatment. 

Marilao police has yet to determine the motive in the killing. 

Bounty for police chief’s killers reaches P1.7 M

Gov. Daniel Fernando and Vice Gov. Alex Castro visit the wake of killed San Miguel town police chief Lt. Col. Marlon Serna. Photo from Gov. Daniel Fernando's social media account

SAN MIGUEL, Bulacan–Bounty for the identification and arrest of two armed robbery hold-up suspects who killed the town chief of police reaches P1.7 million after officials here offer P500,000 more.

Mayor Rhoderick Tiongson offered the said worth of reward money to tipster who could help solve the incident as he claim the two still unidentified armed suspects could also be behind the series of robbery hold-up cases in San Miguel.

The spate of robbery hold-up incidents involved the killing of a rice trader in 2022 including other businessmen and residents in the town. 

San Miguel Mayor Rhoderick Tiongson visits the wake of killed San Miguel town police chief Lt. Col. Marlon Serna. Contributed Photo

Earlier, Gov. Daniel Fernando, the office of the Chief of Philippine National Police Director General  Rodolfo Azurin Jr., the Department of Interior and Local Government and the office of Reg. 3 Police Director Brig Gen. Jose Hidalgo Jr. offerred P1.2 million worth of reward for any tipster who could come forward and help the police in identifying the suspects. 

Fernando, Tiongson and other Bulacan and regional and provincial police officials visited on Tuesday the wake of PLt. Col. Marlon Serna in Sta. Rosa, Nueva Ecija. 

Gov. Daniel Fernando and Vice Gov. Alex Castro visit the wake of killed San Miguel town police chief Lt. Col. Marlon Serna. Photo from Gov. Daniel Fernando’s social media account

Serna died of a bullet wound on his head while being treated in a hospital in this town on Saturday night just after he led a chase on the two unidentified robbery holdd-up suspects who victimized a couple store owner in Barangay San Juan. 

The suspects who reportedly were not wearing bonnet ran towards Barangay Bohol na Mangga in adjacent San Ildefonso town where they engaged the chief of police in a gun fight. 


A shopper checks on locally hand-painted woven bag at Womenpreneur Market in SM City Marilao. The Womenpreneur Market, located in the mall atrium, features a wide variety of merchandise, such as comfort food, home decor, bags, footwear, fashion accessories, and one-of-a-kind gift items.

SM Malls in Marilao, Baliwag and Pulilan are putting spotlight on women-owned businesses and their inspiring stories as each mall celebrates the extraordinary accomplishments of women throughout the month of March.

Taking new approach to Women’s Month, SM malls in Bulacan have expanded its celebration with Womenpreneur Market campaign. This campaign aims to honor women and present platforms showcasing profitable business ideas that women can venture into while motivating young women entrepreneurs and leaders to pursue their aspirations, establish their businesses, and create a positive impact on society. Womenpreneur Market campaign also aims to help shoppers find, discover, and support women-owned MSMEs and local sellers in the malls.

SM City Marilao’s Womenpreneur Market is one of SM’s initiative to showcase and support women-owned businesses in the province.

Ten women-owned businesses took part in the campaign at SM City Marilao. The Womenpreneur Market, located in the mall atrium, showcased a diverse range of products including comfort food, bags, home decor, fashion accessories, novelty and unique gift items from Angel Spice Mushroom Station, Mickai’s Garden, Remiks FD Food Trading, TLM Yema Buko Pie, Quinellas Food Products, Dencio’s Homemade Delicacies, Mai Desserts and Aparon,  Shoppers were drawn to Anicia’s Handicrafts, which sold unique hand-painted woven bags, and Arymyths International Fashion Design, which employed local housewives to create bespoke beaded jewelry made from semi-precious stones, natural beads, and metals.

In celebration of Women’s Month, SM City Baliwag showcases a pop-up market that carries great finds in fashion and beauty, alongside uniquely designed ‘selfie’ spots to let ladies have fun while capturing some IG-worthy shots.

Locally made products and delicacies are also on display at SM Center Pulilan’s Womenpreneur Market. Leather Crafts from KuySo Bulacan, custom cakes from Ruthie’s and locally-made shirts, shoes, and fashion clothing from Bella’s Apparel are the products popular among shoppers.

Ladies take the spotlight at the Women’s Month celebration in SM City Baliwag

SM City Baliwag, on the other hand, gathered great finds in fashion and beauty and other local players all in one venue. 

Rising women entrepreneurs in Bulacan come together at SM Center Pulilan’s Womenpreneur Market featuring KuySo Bulacan from Plaridel, Bella’s Apparel from Balagtas, and Ruthie’s Custom Cakes from Baliwag City.

“We have been blessed with many successful, influential, pioneering women business owners in the province” says SM City Marilao Assistant Mall Engr. Janette Aguilera. “This month-long celebration of women’s achievements and contributions provides a perfect opportunity to highlight the accomplishments of women entrepreneurs” Engr. Aguilera added.

SM City Grand Central welcomed its first mall-based specialty clinic dedicated and tailored to women’s health needs and care concerns. The Medical City Women’s Health Clinic, located on the fifth floor of the mall, provides a broad range of Obstetrics and Gynecology services.

SM Supermalls also has recently achieved a significant milestone by introducing its first specialty clinic for women’s healthcare needs and concerns at SM City Grand Central. The Medical City Women’s Health Clinic, located on the fifth floor of the mall, provides a broad range of Obstetrics and Gynecology services such as gynecological examinations, family planning and contraception, breast cancer screening and prevention, management of menopause, osteoporosis screening and treatment, prenatal and postnatal care, and other services associated with women’s reproductive health and overall well-being.

Pet bill ni Villanueva solusyon sa ‘joblessness’ sa bansa

Senate Majority Floor Leader Senator Joel Villanueva.

Inisponsoran na ni Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva sa plenaryo ang Senate Bill No. 2035 na naglalayong magtatag ng Trabaho Para sa Bayan Plan, na magsisilbing ‘long-term employment generation and recovery’ master plan ng bansa.

Ayon kay Villanueva, layunin ng landmark legislation na kilala bilang “Trabaho Para sa Bayan (TBP) Act”, na isulong ang ‘job-led economic growth and enhanced industry collaboration’ at magbigay ng pangkalahatang serbisyo para sa worker development at suporta at insentibo sa mga negosyo.

Sabi pa ng Majority Leader, ang panukala ay kasama sa priority measures ng Marcos administration.

“We are humbled and thankful to President Bongbong Marcos for personally asking us to lead in the passage of this measure,” ani Villanueva.

Ang TPB Act ay magbibigay ng employment policy na kumprehensibo, magkakaugnay at future-oriented o nakatuon sa hinarahap para mapagtuunan ng pansin ang pabago-bagong labor market ng bansa.

“Employment should not just be an incident to economic development. Generating more decent and permanent employment should be the objective of economic growth, to make growth inclusive and a reality for all,” sabi ni Villanueva.

Binigyang diin ng senador na hindi pa nalalagpasan ng Pilipinas ang “seasonality” ng trabaho kung saan maraming manggagawa ang kinukuha kapag peak months.

Noong Disyembre 2022, bumaba ang unemployment rate sa 4.3% mula sa 5.3% noong Agosto 2022. Subalit umakyat muli ito noong Enero 2023 kung saan nakapagtala ng 4.8% matapos ang holiday season. Samantala, nananatiling mataas ang underemployment rate na naitala sa 14.1% noong Enero 2023 mula sa dating 13.8% noong 2019, ayon sa Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

Binanggit pa ng Majority Leader na ang PSA data ay nagpapakita ng malaking agwat sa employment sa service sector na 60% kumpara sa agricultural sector na 22.2% at industry sector na 17.1%

“Clearly, we need to diversify and increase opportunities in other sectors if we are to become a self-sustaining and prosperous country,” ani Villanueva.

Ang masterplan ay bubuuhin ng isang Inter-Agency Council na pamumunuan ng National Economic and Development Authority, bilang chairperson, kasama ang Department of Trade and Industry at ang Department of Labor and Employment bilang co-chairpersons.

Aatasan nito ang lahat ng ahensiya ng gobyerno na bumuo ng pinagsama-sama at magkakatugmang solusyon para sa iba’t ibang bagay tulad na mga sumusunod:

• tumataas na walang katiyakan at impormal na trabaho;

• pagdagdag sa bilang ng manggagawa sa digital economy, gig economy, at platform work;

• Full-cycle reintegration ng Overseas Filipino Workers;

• Pagsusulong ng oportunidad sa prayoridad na sektor at sa mahahalaga at umuusbong na mga industriya na may mataas na potensiyal na makalikha ngg trabaho;

• Lumalawak na access sa aktibong labor market policies; at

• Job-skills mismatch at potensiyal na skills gap sa umuusbong na mga industriya.

Ang Inter-Agency Council din ang magtutugma sa lahat ng umiiral na polisiya, plano, programa at proyekto at makikipagtulungan sa inter-agency council na nagsisikap na magbigay ng magandang kapaligiran para sa trabaho at magpalago ng mga negosyo.

“The TPB Plan will harmonize and synergize all efforts towards a coherent and cohesive employment policy: Isang plano na magiging direksyon ng lahat ng polisiya, proyekto, programa, at iba pang mga inisyatibo upang patuloy na bumuo at gumawa ng dekalidad na trabaho para sa bayan,” ayon pa kay Villanueva.

Muzon, Bulacan’s biggest barangay is now 4 parts

City of San Jose del Monte Mayor Arthur Robles and his wife, City of San Jose del Monte Congresswoman Rida Robles. Photo from the Official Mayor Arthur Robles Page

CITY OF SAN JOSE DEL MONTE—Bulacan’s biggest barangay (village) is now divided into four. 

Yes votes to divide Barangay Muzon, into Muzon Proper, Muzon East, Muzon West and Muzon South being the biggest barangay in this city and in the whole of the province of Bulacan with around 100,000 population won in Saturday, March 25 plebiscite. 

One of the component cities in Bulacan, Lone District of City of San Jose del Monte out of 24 towns and cities in Bulacan with more than 800,000 residents and 59 villages has the largest population and with the biggest number of barangays in the province. 

Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman George Erwin Garcia told NEWS CORE on Monday that yes garnered 12,324 votes while no votes had 969. Out of 43,771 registered voters in Barangay Muzon, 13,456 voted or had a 30.74% turn in. 

There were 78 clustered precincts with 4 voting centers–San Jose del Monte Heights with 2,378 yes votes or 53%; Benito Nieto elementary school with 2,721 votes or 33%; Muzon High School with 3,242 yes votes or 24.50% and Pabahay 2000 with 5,115 votes or 32.49%. 

Mayor Arthur Robes and wife, City of San Jose del Monte Lone District Rep. Florida Robes, proponent of Republic Act 11896, “An Act Dividing Barangay Muzon in City of San Jose del Monte, Bulacan Into Four Separate and Independent Barangays to be named as Muzon Proper, Muzon East, Muzon West and Muzon South” expressed gratitude to the people of Muzon and the whole of the city for deciding wiser and better for their future. 

Robes told NEWS CORE on Friday that the city spends P12-Million for the plebiscite to divide Muzon to provide the necessary amount of delivered basic services.

“The smaller the scope with 4 barangay captains and 28 councilmen, the faster and the bigger share in the delivery of basic services,” he said.

The Comelec conducted the plebiscite after Republic Act 11896, “An Act Dividing Barangay Muzon in City of San Jose del Monte, Bulacan Into Four Separate and Independent Barangays to be named as Muzon Proper, Muzon East, Muzon West and Muzon South” lapsed into law on July 1, 2022.

The law which was filed in congress by Rep. Robes was approved in congress on June 3, 2020 and was amended and approved by the senate on Jan. 17, 2022.

The mayor said Muzon with its more than 100,000 population and is the largest village in the 59 villages in the city is being deprived of the due basic services because of the limited for one village budget and income but which can be allotted and given three or four times more to suffice the needs of the whole number of inhabitants.  

“The law will improve the delivery of basic services and effectively manage resources for the general welfare of the whole constituency of the city,” Robes said.

San Jose del Monte is considered as the relocation capital of the country where national housing projects for Metro Manila informal settlers were started to be built in Barangay Sapang Palay in 1961.

It is now known as one of the “fastest rising” citi in the country.

Barangay Muzon hosts numerous national government relocation sites and housing projects for residents in Metro Manila living in danger zones and disaster prone areas.

Following the success of the plebiscite, Bulacan’s 569 villages are now 572. 

President Marcos inaugurates 5-min travel Caloocan-Manila NLEX Connector

The C3 Caloocan Interchange with the road going to Espana, from Espana going to Port Area, Manila, from Port Area to Espana. Photo by Anton Luis Catindig

MANILA–President Ferdinand R. Marcos inaugurates on Monday the 5 km elevated first section of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) – South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) Connector that will cut travel time from Caloocan City to Manila to only 5 minutes and would serve as alternative road to 35,000 daily Metro Manila vehicles.

The President said the project is another milestone in national government’s infrastructure that would finally connect NLEX to SLEX and will not only improve mobility but will also push more economic development.

He said Filipinos have long waited for the NLEX Connector which will also form as an integral part of the game-changing Luzon Spine Network under his current administration’s thrust of “Build Better More”.

The President describes the NLEX-SLEX Connector’s 5 minutes travel time from Caloocan to Manila as something that has yet to ever be experienced  by any Filipino but which will further improve the infrastructure landscape of the country. 

President Ferdinand R. Marcos delivering his speech during the inauguration of Caloocan-Manila NLEX Connector. Photo by Anton Luis Catindig

“Manila to Caloocan for only 5 minutes sa sa buong buhay natin ay hindi pa yata natin natikman at naranasan at ngayon ay maari na nating maranasan,” he said. 

NLEX Connector is an 8 km all elevated 4-lanes toll expressway extending the NLEX southward from the end of Segment 10 in C3 Road, Caloocan City to Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) Sta. Mesa, Manila and connecting to the Skyway Stage 3 going to SLEX, and mostly traversing along the PNR rail track .

The first section traverses from Segment 10 in C3 Road, Caloocan to Blumentritt and Espana in Manila and is expected to ease traffic along Espana Boulevard, Abad Santos Avenue, Rizal Avenue and Lacson Avenue and provide easier access to several areas including the University Belt. 

The second section which is nearly 3 km from Espana to PUP and would connect to Skyway Stage 3 is now 42% completed and would be completed by early part of 2024, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Manuel Bonoan. 

The project includes two interchanges located at C3 Road/5th Avenue, Caloocan

The roads and bridges of the Connector will be a great relief for logistic areas because cargos and goods from North and South Luzon will have a speed movement, the President also said.

“These are the roads and bridges that  people will traverse now other than the surface roads, known in other countries as the existing roads,” the president added. 

“We do not stop here. We will continue the inter connectivity of major roads and expansion of bridges in the archipelago. 

We will continue to develop highly interconnected road networks that will serve the country’s rapid and sustained economic growth under our Build Better More thrust,” Mr. Marcos ended. 

NLEX Corp. President J. Luigi Bautista said the project caters to all types of vehicles not only truck loads of goods from North and South Luzon but also including SUV’s, private vehicles, buses and even with 400 cc and above motorcycles. 

Bautista expressed pride that the project in partnership with the DPWH showcased the Filipino capabilities and strong spirit of community and nation building amid the pandemic, the repeated lockdowns, the social distancing and the economic losses

“These covers the construction through partnership with DPWH and Pinoy engineering capabilities on roads which cross over on top of Blumentritt station and Dimasalang areas of LRT 1 and amidst a  traffic environment,” he added.

According to Bautista, NLEX Connector would allow round the clock movement of goods under the supply chain which had hurdled the hardest challenge of relocating informal settlers in the metropolis affected by the right of way. 

Bonoan described the project as the first elevated loop expressway in Metro Manila which despite partial opening, will leave a significant impact to address the chronic traffic in the internal roads of the Metro including Edsa 

“This is a milestone support of the private sector under Build Better More,” Bonoan added.