SMC relaxes toll exemption requirement for Taal-bound relief vehicles
Conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) has waived the toll on expressways leading to Batangas province for government and private vehicles involved in relief operations for Taal victims, with or without prior coordination.
In a statement on Tuesday, SMC said that the exemption would apply at the South Luzon Expressway (SLEx) and Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR).
Motorists involved in relief efforts without advance coordination should stop at the following inspection sites: SLEx southbound (Petron Silangan/KM 44, Mayapa entry, Batino entry, Calamba/Real entry); STAR southbound location (Sto. Tomas entry); and all STAR northbound entry locations (Batangas, Ibaan, Lipa, Toribio, Malvar and Tanauan).
A toll supervisor, accompanied by a traffic enforcer, will then inspect the vehicle and issue a free single exit pass, SMC said. This pass should be surrendered only at the cash lanes where the vehicle would be exiting.
“This is part of our wide-ranging efforts across the San Miguel Group to help our countrymen, through our own relief operations, and by supporting and enabling others who also want to help,” SMC president Ramon S. Ang said.
“Yet again, we are seeing the best of Filipinos—helping and lifting each other up in times of great need,” he added.
Taal Volcano came to life last week, displacing over 100,000 people in Batangas and Cavite provinces and causing businesses to shut down.
SMC Tollways earlier announced that southbound government vehicles carrying volunteers, equipment and relief goods for Taal victims would not be required to pay toll.
Private vehicles being used to deliver relief goods would also be given the same privilege but drivers must coordinate in advance with tollway management through email, it added. The condition, however, was criticized for being unnecessary and time-consuming, given the urgent situation in eruption-affected areas.
SMC, a food, beverage and infrastructure conglomerate, is one of the country’s largest tollroad operators. Apart from SLEx and STAR, it operates the Naia Expressway, Metro Manila Skyway and Tarlac Pangasinan La Union Expressway or TPLEx. INQ
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