Ang issues personal apology; assures help to victims of Skyway mishap

Maris Federez   •   November 23, 2020   •   842

MANILA, Philippines — San Miguel Corporation, the concession holder of the Skyway Extension project, has issued an apology to the victims of the accident at the project site in Brgy. Cupang in Muntinlupa that happened on Saturday (Nov. 21).

Alongside the apology, is the company’s assurance to the victims that their needs and essentials will be taken care of.

In a statement released to the media on Sunday, SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang said that although EEI Corporation was the one handling the construction of the project, the SMC, as project proponent, is taking the responsibility to take care of the victims.

“Even with a contractor handling construction, ultimately, we are responsible for the welfare of those who were affected. I would like to personally apologize to the victims and their families, as well as to our larger community in Muntinlupa,” Ang said.

“This terrible and tragic accident has affected me in ways I can’t even begin to express. I have not stopped thinking about the people who were affected, the four that were injured and most especially, the person who perished, and his family. There are no words that can ease the grief of losing a loved one,” the business mogul said.

“To the family, I can only offer my sincerest and deepest condolences, and my personal assurance that your family will be taken care of. To those who were injured, please be assured we will provide all the means necessary for you to recover and restart,” he added.

The SMC chief also vowed that the incident will be investigated thoroughly, and that company and its contractor EEI will make sure even stricter measures are in place at the project site.

“In a project of this magnitude and scale, there are many redundant safety measures in place.  Unfortunately, we can’t predict every outcome, and I’m sure no one wanted this to happen,” Ang said.

“Regardless, we are working with authorities to determine the root cause of this incident. We will find out where lapses occurred and do whatever is necessary to help make sure they don’t happen again.”

On Saturday, November 21, a crane that was being positioned for its next task tilted and fell on the girder spanning the two posts of the north-bound Skyway extension project.  The girder fell on vehicles below, resulting in one fatality and four injuries. — /mbmf

SMC confirms Skyway 3 to remain open; ramps at 97% completion

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — San Miguel Corporation (SMC) has confirmed that the Skyway Stage 3 will remain open to motorists amid misunderstanding with the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB).

SMC President Ramon S. Ang said he has relayed this commitment to Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade.

In a statement, the SMC said the misunderstanding started when the TRB insisted that Skyway 3 cannot start full operations and collect toll until all ramps are 100% complete.

Ang reiterated that their supplemental toll operation agreement with the TRB states that the SMC can begin collecting at 95% completion of construction.

Ang reported that the ramps are at 97% completion. He also reiterated the need for collection for maintenance and to speed up the completion of the ramps.

“We need sufficient funds for the toll road’s daily maintenance, proper long-term upkeep and to keep it safe and efficient for the motoring public. As Skyway 3’s losses have been mounting because TRB keeps delaying the start of toll collection, the quickest way for our infrastructure unit to speed up 100% completion of the ramps would have been to close Skyway 3,” Ang said.

The SMC previously announced that the 18-kilometer elevated expressway will be closed beginning Tuesday (March 16) in compliance with the TRB directive that all ramps should be completed. However, the TRB clarified it did not issue a directive on the indefinite closure of Skyway Stage 3.

Ang also noted the concessions they have to make in the interest of the public.

“Skyway 3 is new, but heavy everyday use causes it to deteriorate if not maintained properly. We spend a lot for its upkeep, and at the same time lose a lot in foregone revenues. We cannot operate this and serve people if the project is not generating revenues,” he added.

The SMC had also revised the originally proposed fare matrix to significantly lower toll rates, to ensure that motorists will not bear the heavy burden of high toll fees, especially amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Basically, we have done everything to make sure we can viably operate Skyway 3 right away, so we can serve motorists and fulfill our goal, which is to lessen traffic in Metro Manila and hopefully, through better connectivity, create more jobs and economic opportunities for more Filipinos,” Ang added. -AAC

Northbound Alabang Sucat Skyway extension to open in second quarter of 2021

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 11, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is set to open the Alabang Sucat Skyway northbound extension by the second quarter of 2021.

DPWH Secretary Mark Villar said the 3.9-kilometer Sucat-Alabang Skyway Extension Project can provide convenient travel to motorists.

Once the Skyway extension is completed, Villar said motorists heading to Cavite, Laguna and other parts of Southern Luzon will soon have faster trips.

The Alabang Sucat Skyway is part of the three-lane Skyway Extension that connects the elevated Skyway to South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) through the Alabang Viaduct.

“With 61% of the project already complete, travel time from the Skyway mainline toll plaza in Sucat, Paranaque to Susana Heights in SLEX will soon be reduced by around 50%, greatly easing the traffic situation for those who are going home to the provinces,” he said.

Villar also announced that the project includes the widening of the Skyway Alabang Toll Plaza.

“We are targeting completion of the northbound segment second quarter of this year while the southbound segment is being fast-tracked for delivery on September as part of our goal”, he added.

MRT-7 project opening eyed in 2022 – SMC

Robie de Guzman   •   February 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – San Miguel Corporation (SMC) is looking to open the Metro Rail Transit Line 7 (MRT-7) in December 2022, the company’s president, Ramon S. Ang said as he reported about the project’s progress on Friday.

Ang said the construction of the project is at about 54 percent complete, with significant advances in its electrical and mechanical works. the Elevation requirements and tunnel lengths of the rail are also finished.

“I’m excited to share with you the progress we have made on our MRT-7 project. Despite its many challenges, we are now halfway done with construction and are expecting delivery of the first batch of trains from South Korea Hyundai Rotem,” he said in a Facebook post.

“We are looking to open this vital rail network in less than two years,” he added.

I’m excited to share with you the progress we have made on our MRT-7 project. Despite its many challenges, we are now…

Posted by Ramon S. Ang on Thursday, February 18, 2021

Ang said they are expecting to complete major milestones of the project this year, including the construction of MRT-7 stations, as well as the arrival and the testing of the first batch of trains.

Once completed, the project will connect MRT-3 and Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1) and can ferry passengers from Quezon City to San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan.

“Together with Skyway 3 and our other ongoing and planned infrastructure projects, MRT-7 will further improve urban mobility by linking 14 stations from San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan to MRT-3 and LRT-1,” he said.

The project is envisioned to improve road traffic situation and spur economic growth in Bulacan.

“By providing a seamless public transport system, we will significantly ease road traffic congestion, reduce commute times, and improve quality of life,” Ang said.

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