SMC waives toll fees for frontline health workers

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A portion of the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 27) — Medical frontliners battling the novel coronavirus can now drive through expressways run by San Miguel Corporation for free.

Its unit SMC Infrastructure announced Friday that all toll fees will be waived for healthcare workers amid the COVID-19 health crisis.

"This is the least we can do to show our appreciation and gratitude for our doctors and nurses’ who are working under extremely challenging circumstances to save lives," SMC President Ramon Ang said in a statement.

"Considering the sacrifices they make on a daily basis, this is a small gesture. But nevertheless, we hope it helps make life a bit easier for them, and remind them that what they do for all us is deeply appreciated," he added.

To avail of the free tollway passes, a medical personnel must present their license card from the Professional Regulation Commission, a special RFID sticker will then be installed on their cars that will allow them to get through toll gates without any charges. Another option is to get their existing RFID stickers converted. Both transactions can be done in temporary booths at the Shell Magallanes gasoline station and the NAIA Expressway toll gate from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

SMC said booths will be set up in other locations as well. Free access will be given at the NAIAx, STAR Tollway, South Luzon Expressway, Skyway, and the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway.

Earlier, SMC opened priority lanes to ensure the steady flow of essential goods such as food and medical supplies.

The entire Luzon is under enhanced community quarantine, which restricts the movement of people and banned public transportation to contain the spread of the virus. Shuttles have been provided by government as well as private sector groups to ferry health workers to and from hospitals amid the shutdown.