No more free Skyway Stage 3

The free Skyway Stage 3 ride is over. But the toll won’t be as burdensome as initially announced.

San Miguel Corporation (SMC) announced that it will start collecting toll on the new elevated expressway starting July 12 but will be using a revised toll fee matrix that is lower than originally proposed.

The revised toll matrix will particularly benefit motorists travelling shorter distances on the Skyway Stage 3.

It’s really just in the nature of SMC under president and CEO Ramon Ang to take into consideration the public’s welfare.

Said Ang: “We thank the TRB for helping us determine the most equitable toll rates for our motorists. We know from experience that times are hard for many, and even a little relief for motorists can go a long way. These toll rates reflect our deferral of the collection of a substantial amount of the cost to build Skyway 3. We also further lowered the rates for those traveling shorter distances.” 

Majority of motorists understand the need to pay toll as this will ensure continued efficient operations, maintenance, and safe driving conditions on the elevated expressway.

They see the toll as just compensation for how much valuable time they stand to gain that is otherwise lost while mired in traffic.

Road-side shelters

Since the rainy season started social media has been inundated by photos of motorcycle riders sheltering from heavy rains underneath elevated pedestrian walkways and flyovers, taking over much of the main throughfares, leaving only a lane or two for cars and other vehicles, and causing congestion and gridlock.

Such photos spark debate on whether it is right for motorcycle riders, and they are legion, to cause much inconvenience for other road users, private vehicle owners and PUVs alike, even under conditions that make it dangerous for riders to ride on.

And it is a lively debate to be sure, with both sides of the argument believing in the rightness of their cause.

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has decided it is better to find a solution of sorts rather join the debate on one or side or the other.

The MMDA has decided to establish wherever feasible and safe what it calls an emergency-layby where motorcycle riders can shelter from the rain on major thoroughfares and not block the road.

One is now available at the ground level of the Quezon Avenue Flyover on EDSA.

In explaining this initiative, MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos said: “We understand the plight of motorcycle riders when they have to stop in the middle of the road while waiting for the rain to stop, it’s very risky for them because they might get into a road accident. At least with the emergency lay-by, they can take cover during heavy rains.”

The MMDA has put up signage at the first of many such layby, including entrance and exit signs.

Abalos however made sure to remind motorcyclists that the emergency lay-by is only a rain shelter, and should not be used as a rest stop or parking area.

 “Motorcyclists would be allowed to stay only when it is raining. No parking shall be allowed or they shall receive violation ticket for illegal parking,” he said.

The MMDA has identified more areas where an emergency layby can be established as rain shelters for riders, along EDSA, C5, Roxas Boulevard, Alabang Road, Paranaque-Sucat Road, and Chapel Road.

The MMDA is now clearing those areas of obstructions. 

MMPC’s new CEO

It was expected but congratulations nonetheless to Takeshi Hara who has formally been appointed president and CEO of Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation.

Hara’s appointment took effect last July 1, a few months after he arrived in the country as MMPC EVP and assistant to the president & CEO.

Before that he was president and CEO of Mitsubishi Motors Sales Caribbean Inc., MMC’s subsidiary and distributor in Puerto Rico. And before that he has served in various capacities at Mitsubishi in Japan which he joined back in 1993

Hara replaced Mutsuhiro Oshikiri who in his four years at the head of MMPC maintained Mitsubishi as a strong No.2 automotive brand in the Philippines.

Oshikiri also deserve congratulations for his successful stewardship of MMPC which under his leadership achieved a number of milestones, including the successful introduction of the Mitsubishi Xpander, the bestselling Small MPV.

Shopee & Isuzu

Two brands seeking to live up to the billing as responsible partners have teamed up.

Isuzu Philippines Corporation (IPC) has just turned over several NMR85H aluminum van trucks to  SPX Philippines Inc., a.k.a. Shopee Xpress.

The new fleet of Isuzu vans is expected to bolster the integrated logistics service of Shopee.

“On behalf of Isuzu Philippines Corporation, thank you to Shopee Xpress Philippines for trusting us to become their new, responsible partner. With the NMR’s tried and tested DNA, we are confident that they will be able to achieve their goal of safe and seamless deliveries in the fastest time possible,” said Mister Shojiro Sakoda, IPC’s Executive Vice President, during the turnover ceremony.

Speaking for Shopee, Martin Yu, said: “Isuzu is firmly anchored on customer satisfaction, and that is something we value at Shopee. Shopee Xpress is proud to partner with Isuzu in ensuring the overall online shopping experience is reliable, exceptional, and satisfactory for all our stakeholders.”

New Ciaz

Suzuki Philippines has rolled out the new upgraded Ciaz, its entrant into the highly competitive entry-level subcompact sedan market.

Aside from a more stylish chrome grille, new bumper design, and LED headlamps and foglights, the Ciaz now features an upgraded  infotainment system with 8-inch display, soft touch button, Apple Carplay and Android Auto.

The Ciaz is powered by a 1.4-liter petrol engine rated at 91 horsepower.  It also now comes with a reverse camera, dual airbags and ABS with an Electronic Brakeforce Distribution.

Priced at only P888,000, the new Suzuki Ciaz is available in Gray Metallic, Pure White Pearl and Super Black Pearl. 

Happy Motoring!!!

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