Ever since the country was placed under community quarantine, the San Miguel Corporation (SMC) waived all toll fees on their expressways for medical front liners. This allows our nation's doctors, nurses, and practitioners to drive through expressways as quickly as possible. That's thanks to the special toll-free RFID tags SMC made for them to keep them moving.
The scheme has been going on for the past nine months, and SMC will continue doing that for as long as they can. “This privilege will still extend indefinitely. This year has been quite difficult for our country and all of us Filipinos. Through it all, our front liners have worked tirelessly and selflessly to save lives and help contain this virus. This Christmas season especially, let us be reminded that they are a gift and a blessing to all of us,” said Ramon Ang, SMC president, and chief operating officer.
So, how much have our brave front liners saved during this time? According to SMC, the waived toll fees are at PHP 138 million as of December 20, and the number continues to rise each passing day.
According to the company, a total of 10,402 medical front liners continue to enjoy the special privilege. For those who are curious about the breakdown of the toll-fees, SMC provided that data too. So far, it's PHP 67,334,728 from the Skyway system, PHP 55,898,294 from SLEX, PHP 6,212,260 from the NAIAX, PHP 5,868,992 from STAR, and PHP 2,899,345 from TPLEX. The exact total of all that is PHP 138,213,619.
“It has been nine months since we started this program. And while our situation these days may be a little different since we have less restrictions, make no mistake: we are still in a pandemic, and our medical practitioners have not stopped fighting. They are still battling COVID-19 and sacrificing so much to save lives. That is why we have also not stopped showing our appreciation for them”, said Ang.
Through these programs, SMC is one of the biggest companies to join the fight against COVID-19. Aside from giving free toll to medical workers, they also donated medical equipment such as PCR testing machines, PCR testing kits, respiratory machines, medical-grade personal protective equipment, and testing booths, among others. They even built temporary isolation facilities nationwide. So far, SMC has shelled out over PHP 13 billion for COVID-19 relief packages and operations.