The Holy Week is fast approaching, which means a huge exodus of people from the metro to the provinces. These are individuals and families who devote their time attending to their religious duties, as well as those who would want to take advantage of the days off from work to visit family in their hometowns or simply to just enjoy a relaxing vacation for a couple of days.
Because of this, motorists are expected to take the road in droves, like every year, but especially this year, with the easing of COVID-19 travel restrictions. The traffic volume on the country’s busiest expressways are expected to rise by anywhere from 10 to 15 percent this Holy Week.
For a smoother and safer drive, Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC) is again implementing the “Safe Trip Mo Sagot Ko” (SMSK) from April 8 to April 18, 2022. MPTC is the operator of North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX), Manila-Cavite (CAVITEX), C5 Link Expressway (C5 LINK), and Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX).
“With the easing of travel restrictions, there’s a lot more outdoor activity from the general public. As we return to some normalcy as compared to recent years, we have anticipated this increase in volume by fielding additional personnel and offering special roadside services,” said MPTC President and CEO Rodrigo E. Franco.
Now on its 13th year, SMSK is MPTC’s motorist assistance program that is aimed at providing motorists with a safer and more convenient journey during the peak season.
Included in this program are the increased deployment of patrol crews, traffic marshals, security teams, and toll plaza personnel to ensure safety, and provide immediate assistance to motorists. As in the past, emergency medical services and incident response teams will also be augmented and will be stationed at strategic areas of the expressways.
Lane closures and mainline road works will also be suspended from April 8 to 18 unless safety repairs are necessary. Safety and directional signages are put in place to ensure unimpeded travel.
Updated traffic information will continually be posted on each of the expressways’ social media accounts, while the MPTC Hotline (1-35000) will be fully manned 24/7 to address immediate customer concerns.
This year’s SMSK will also provide free towing to the nearest exit for Class 1 vehicles, from 6am of April 13 to 6am of April 18.