(NLEx president and CEO Rod Franco (2nd left) leads the press conference on the Metro Pacific Tollways Corp., the holding company of NLEx, SCTEx and CavitEx of its annual SMSK program this coming Holy Week. Joining him are Luigi Bautista, president and CEO of CavitEx, DOTr Usec Tomas Orbos, TRB executive director Abraham Sales and Roberto Bontia senior VP for operation and technology management of MPTC. Photo by Deng Pangilinan)
STARTING this year, the Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC), the holding company of NLEX, SCTEX and CAVITEX, is expanding the coverage of its annual “Safe Trip Mo Sagot Ko” motorist assistance program to include not only this year’s Holy Week, Undas and Christmas holidays but also the forthcoming long weekends specifi cally Araw ng Kagitingan (April 7-9), National Heroes’ Day (August 25-27) and Bonifacio Day (November 30-December 2).
The SMSK is MPTC’s annual assistance program intended to ensure hassle-free travel during holidays by enhancing all services in all three MPTC-owned expressways.
Apart from expanding the coverage to the long weekends, the SMSK will also render 24-hour free towing services for Class 1 vehicles during the specifi c periods instead of the usual 12-hour operation.
“We are implementing a more extensive SMSK starting this Holy Week to further improve our services for safe and convenient travel to our motorists traveling between Metro Manila and Central and North Luzon provinces,” said MPTC President and CEO Rodrigo E. Franco.
From March 23 to April 2, NLEX-SCTEX traffic personnel will devote extended working hours and intensified patrol coverage to closely monitor and manage the expected surge of vehicles in Balintawak, Mindanao Avenue, Bocaue, Sta. Ines, Tarlac and Subic – Tipo toll plazas.
Additional patrol and incident response teams will also be ready to assist motorists at all interchanges and fuel stations.
On the peak hours of March 28, 29 and April 1, the Balintawak Toll Plaza will open 24 toll collection points while Mindanao Avenue and Tarlac toll plazas will open 10 and 29 toll collection points, respectively.
Portabooths and portable toll collection equipment will be used to speed up transactions.
By April 1, the Bocaue Toll Plaza will have a maximum of 62 toll collection points in operation for motorists going back to Metro Manila.
During the same period, CAVITEX will deploy more traffic patrol officers and security personnel to manage the traffic and assist motorists.
Ambulant tellers will be on standby to facilitate faster toll transactions.
On March 28 to April 1, MPTC and its partners will set up SMSK Motorist Camps and provide free services such as free calls and Wi-Fi, free drinking water, free basic mechanic services and first aid treatments in designated locations along NLEX, SCTEX, and CAVITEX.
Free towing services to the nearest exit will be offered to Class 1 from 6:00 a.m. of March 28 to 12:00 midnight of April 1.
SMSK is co-presented by Caltex and supported by Nutri-Asia, Shell, Smart, PLDT, Maynilad, Prestone, and media partners TV5, The Philippine Star, Manila Bulletin, and Manila Standard.