SMC expressways ready for Holy Week exodus

San Miguel Corporation’s infrastructure unit said it has made all necessary preparations in anticipation of heavy traffic volume this week at all its expressways, namely the South Luzon Expressway, (SLEX), Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR), the Skyway System, NAIA Expressway, and the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX), as Filipinos head out to the provinces for the traditional observance of Holy Week.

SMC expressways Holy Week

Starting Monday, April, 3, SMC Infrastructure increased its manpower deployment at all its tollways, to meet the expected holiday exodus, and help ensure more efficient and safe travels for motorists.

Mobile patrol units have been deployed at strategic locations, while more ambulant tellers will be positioned at major toll plazas to assist toll collection personnel, to speed up the flow of vehicles heading out of Metro Manila to northern and southern provinces.

“Our operations teams are prepared for the rush of our kababayans leaving Metro Manila to spend the upcoming holidays with their loved ones in the provinces. We’ve made the necessary adjustments in our manpower deployment to ensure that traffic will flow smoothly along our carriageways and speed up the scanning of Autosweep tags and cards at exits,” said SMC President and CEO Ramon S. Ang said.

“We encourage our motorists to make sure their Autosweep RFID accounts have sufficient load and to have their Autosweep cards ready in their vehicles, to avoid any delays. Our ambulant tellers are also equipped to scan cards for faster transactions, in case there is heavy build-up at the exits,” Ang added.

Ang said the company has suspended all roadworks and activities that might disrupt the flow of traffic at expressways, starting 12:00 PM of April 3 until 10:00 PM of April 10. He said that SMC Infrastructure has also coordinated with authorities such as the Police and the various local government units, on the implementation of traffic management plans.

“To our motorists, we ask for your patience and understanding, as we all try to get to our destinations safely this Holy Week. Kindly anticipate heavy traffic and plan your trips well. Also, please make sure your vehicles are in good condition and are road-worthy, as common problems we see at expressways–blown out tires and overheating engines–can also cause a significant amount of delay and inconvenience to other motorists,” Ang said.

He asked motorists to always keep safety in mind when on the road. Apart from wearing seatbelts and maintaining a safe breaking distance, motorists are reminded to also adhere to speed limits along expressways.

SMC’s at-grade expressways have a maximum speed limit of 100 kph for Class 1 vehicles, and 80 kph for Classes 2 and 3 vehicles. Skyway Stage 3 and the NAIA Expressway have a maximum speed limit of 60 kph, for safety reasons.

In December last year, SMC Infrastructure implemented the Seamless Southern Tollways program which reduced the number of toll stops for motorists passing the South Luzon Expressway and STAR Tollway.

The program has since proven successful at minimizing traffic buildup along the expressways as motorists no longer needed to stop at the Calamba Main Toll Plaza and SLEX Greenfield.

“Before the Seamless program, traffic buildup at Calamba usually stretched five to seven kilometers. Now, it is gone,” Ang explained. We have no more traffic build-up at Calamba and SLEX Greenfield, and our existing toll plazas there are being dismantled.”

“We are grateful to our LGU partners who have been supportive of the Seamless Southern Tollways program. We continue to collaborate closely so that we can jointly manage the traffic flow in the exits,” Ang added.