VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Villar tagging Skyway Stage 3 under #BuildBuildBuild lacks context

In his verified Facebook (FB) page, former Public Works and Highways secretary Mark Villar tagged the Skyway Stage 3 project as an accomplishment under the “Build, Build, Build” program, President Rodrigo Duterte’s infrastructure master plan.

This needs context.

A reader asked VERA Files Fact Check to look into the claim of Villar, who resigned early this month to run for senator in the May 2022 elections.


The Oct. 14 post carried juxtaposed photos showing the “before” and “after” construction of the Skyway 3 segment in Makati City and was labelled 2016 and 2021, respectively. The caption read:

“The Skyway Stage 3 project is one of 25 projects under the EDSA Decongestion Program. Soon, every city in Metro Manila will be connected within a 20 to 30 minute timeframe. #BuildBuildBuild”

Source: Mark Villar official Facebook page, The Skyway Stage 3 project…, Oct. 14, 2021 (archived)

As of Oct. 22, the post has garnered 157,000 reactions, 11,000 comments and 18,000 shares.


The Metro Manila Skyway 3 — an elevated expressway linking the North and South Luzon Expressways (NLEX-SLEX) — was approved in 2013 under the administration of the late President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.

Under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) agreement with Citra Central Expressway Corp. (CCEC) and San Miguel Corp. (SMC), the initial 14.2-kilometer toll expressway from Buendia in Makati City to Balintawak in Quezon City was launched by Aquino on Jan. 22, 2014.

The construction of Skyway 3, which was meant to decongest EDSA and other major roads in Metro Manila, was originally targeted for completion in April 2017.

However, due to right-of-way issues, the project implementation was delayed.

In the DPWH website, the original total project cost of P37.43 billion was later revised to P44.86 billion due to additional cost for the realignments along the San Juan River.

In February 2020, a huge blaze collapsed a portion of the Skyway 3 in Pandacan, Manila, further raising the total cost to P54.23 billion.

The project length was also modified to 18.83 kilometers due to an extension from Balintawak to the NLEX footbridge.

Although it was completed in October 2020, the Skyway 3 expressway was formally opened on Jan. 15, 2021 to allow motorists to acquire autosweep RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) stickers for their vehicles necessary for cashless toll payment, SMC president Ramon Ang said.

Skyway 3 is part of the four-stage Metro Manila Skyway Project (SMMSP) conceived in 1993 under the term of former President Fidel V. Ramos.

This is not the first time that VERA Files Fact Check flagged a claim crediting the “Build, Build, Build” program for infrastructure projects that were started before 2016 when the Duterte administration took office. See the following fact checks:



Google Maps, Metro Manila Skyway. Retrieved on Oct. 20, 2021

Mark Villar official Facebook page, The Skyway Stage 3 project…, Oct. 14, 2021 (archived)

Official Gazette of the Philippines, Metro Manila Skyway stage 3 project approved by Malacañang, Sept 27, 2013

Official Gazette of the Philippines, Speech of President Aquino at the launch of the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 Project, Jan. 22, 2014

RTVMalacanang YouTube, Launching of Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 (Speech), Jan. 22, 2014

Department of Public Works and Highways, METRO MANILA SKYWAY STAGE 3 (MMSS-3), Oct. 20, 2021 (archived)

Public-Private Partnership Service, METRO MANILA SKYWAY STAGE 3 (MMSS-3), March 25, 2015

Business Mirror, Skyway Stage 3 project 28.7% complete, operational in 3 years, June 29, 2017

Philippine News Agency, Duterte admin’s ‘political will’ key to completion of Skyway 3, Jan. 31, 2021

ABS-CBN News, DPWH confident it could address EDSA traffic, April 3, 2019

Manila Standard, SMC completes ‘new’ bridge over San Juan River, March 12, 2020

San Miguel Corporation, SMC revises proposed toll matrix for Skyway 3, to charge lower rates starting July 12, July 6, 2021, Portion of Skyway Stage 3 collapses in Pandacan blaze, Feb. 2, 2020

ABS-CBN News, Part of Skyway Stage 3 collapses amid fire in Pandacan warehouse, Feb. 1, 2020

CNN Philippines, Part of Skyway Stage 3 collapses due to warehouse fire, Feb. 1, 2020

San Miguel Corporation YouTube, SMC completes Skyway 3, Oct. 51, 2020

San Miguel Corporation, SMC completes target 156 RFID installation stations, tollways to go 100% cashless by January 11, Jan. 5, 2021

Toll Regulatory Board, South Metro Manila Skyway Project, Oct. 22, 2021 (archived)


(Guided by the code of principles of the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, VERA Files tracks the false claims, flip-flops, misleading statements of public officials and figures, and debunks them with factual evidence. Find out more about this initiative and our methodology.)

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