Bright spots

It’s been a tough few weeks or so for the many who are forced to stay home and help bring down the surge in Covid-19 infections. It’s scary, too, every time health authorities report the daily number of confirmed Covid-19 cases.

Even just getting on Facebook causes anxiety and sorrow for many. Facebook now looks like the obituary page of newspapers, with announcements of deaths in the family and posts of condolences for the bereaved.

So perhaps we all need to look at the brighter side of life and be thankful for news that raise spirits and hopes for better things to come. The automotive industry has been a source of good news in these bad times with auto makers and distributors bravely launching more vehicles, opening more dealerships, and coming up with attractive deals and promos to make car ownership easier and more affordable.

While it seems self-serving as they need to sell vehicles to survive, forget about that for the moment—auto companies are helping to keep the economy moving.

By forging ahead amid the lockdowns and quarantine measures, the auto industry is projecting a sense of normalcy that in some ways is healthy for individuals and communities.

RSA Motors Greenhills

One bright spot in these dark times is the newly completed and largest BMW dealership in the country. Called RSA Motors Greenhills, the new dealership is a 1,800-square meter facility comprising floors located a stone’s throw away from EDSA at Connecticut St. corner Florida St., Barangay Wack Wack, Mandaluyong City.

The announcement about the new dealership was made by SMC Asia Car Distributors Corp., SMC Asia Car Distributors Corp., official importer and distributor of BMW in the Philippines.

What RSA stands for? Our guess it’s for Ramon S. Ang, one of the captains of industry who has been a beacon of help and hope for people and the economy.

SMC Asia touts RSA Greenhills as “one of only two in the world that follows the unique Fit to BMW standards, offering a more personalized customer experience together with signature furniture pieces and design elements.”

BMW calls on owners and aspiring buyers to visit the RSA Motors Greenhills showroom to experience the best of the brand in the newest home of premium mobility. 

Under the current MECQ period, RSA Motors Greenhills said it will be open from Monday to Saturday at 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. until April 30, 2021. Once local government guidelines lift the necessary restrictions, 

Operating hours will be subject to change once local government guidelines lift the necessary restrictions, it added.

Summer of Luxury

April is a hot summer month for automotive deals. Lexus also wants it to be a summer of luxury, offering sizzling deals for the ES 350 and LS 500 2020 model sedans.

Lexus is offering both models at 30 percent downpayment  with 24-month installment at zero percent interest.

Lexus describes the ES 350 as sedan known primarily for comfort and quietness that is equally capable of delivering class-leading handling and power.

Built on the GA-K platform, the ES 350 features a sleek and bold exterior, a spacious, and plush interior. The new platform and powertrain deliver flawless silky, smooth ride comfort, with sharp handling response and rock-solid stability.

Red Hot Deals

Kia Philippines has extended its Red Hot deals promo until the end of April. Kia said that with this promo, one can get the passion—and fun-filled Picanto, the reliable and hardworking Soluto, the adventurous Sportage, or other Kia models, as huge discounts.

Under its Red Hot deals, Kia lops off P91,000 from the suggested retail price of P590,000 for the Picanto LX MT. The 2019 LX MT Soluto comes with a discount of P80,000 from its original price of P665,000.

The Sportage LX Diesel is offered with a whopping P300,000 discount.

Northbound Extension

Bright spots in these dark times can also be seen in the road infrastructure sector. RSA shines here, too, with San Miguel Corporation announcing that it has opened two of three lanes of the Skyway Extension project’s northbound section to motorists. Northbound motorists can avoid the perennial congestion heading into the Alabang viaduct of the SLEX by taking the newly opened northbound Skyway extension from Susana Heights, gratis et amore until further notice.

Ang said the northbound section that covers four kilometers from Susana Heights to Sucat in Paranaque, can be used by Class 1 vehicles with RFID. “I am proud to announce to motorists from the south that finally, our long-awaited Skyway Extension northbound section is finally open. Our long-term solution to addressing traffic particularly on SLEX heading to the Alabang area has finally been realized,” he said.

Free Ride for APORS

Also a bright spot is how the Department of Transportation (DOTr) is working hard to provide free public transport for health workers and now the so-called APORS, Authorized Persons Outside Residence.

When Metro Manila and adjacent provinces were put back under Enhanced Community Quraantine, DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade had ordered the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to expand its Free Ride Service Program for Health Workers to also cover APORS in what authorities called NCR-Plus area.

Now Tugade has directed the LTFRB to implement the free ride program for health workers and APORs to other parts of the country, regardless of community quarantine levels in place.

The DOTr is tying together two programs aimed at helping some sectors overcome the consequences of the pandemic: the Free Rides Program and the Service Contracting Program (SCP).

The SCP is an initiative aimed at cushioning the adverse impact on the income of workers due to the enforcement of community quarantine restrictions, especially the strict levels which significant decreased public utility vehicle (PUV) operations.

“Para ito sa mga tao. This is like a socialized transport system. Gobyerno ‘ho ang nagbabayad, sakay lang nang sakay ang tao. Ito ay tulong sa mamamayan. Sa atin ‘hong magigiting na essential workers, libre ‘ho ito dahil napapailalim po ito sa tinatawag na Service Contracting Program,” Secretary Tugade said.

Happy Motoring!!!

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