Conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) assured continued operations across its tollroad network despite the steep drop in vehicular volume. Amid the coronavirus crisis, SMC said the movement of health care front-liners was crucial. “Saving lives is always more important than money. We need to have a healthy population, reduce the number of individuals who can potentially get sick and die. We can always rebuild and make money in the process. Once a life is lost, it’s gone forever,” SMC president Ramon S. Ang said in a statement. SMC said 2,000 doctors and nurses had so far availed themselves of toll-free RFID (radio-frequency identification) stickers. These are valid at the STAR tollway, South Luzon Expressway (SLEx), the Skyway system, Ninoy Aquino International Airport Expressway, and Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway. “We started this initiative not only to show support for our medical front-liners and government but also to inspire more businesses to step up their responses all the more and play their part in fighting the battle against COVID-19,” Ang said. “We know this is a small thing, considering the significance of what of our doctors and nurses are faced with every day, but this is one way we can serve them as they serve our country,” he added. The tollroad business has seen a substantial fall in volume due to the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon. SMC said volume in SLEx alone had dropped 80 percent. —Miguel R. Camus
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