The Skyway Stage 3 management earlier announced it will close the elevated expressway to motorists starting 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 16, but San Miguel president Ramon Ang later clarified it will remain open.
"In accordance with the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) directive, the Skyway Stage 3 will be closed indefinitely starting 16 March 2021 at 5PM," the Skyway Stage 3 management said in a post on Twitter on Monday night.
The elevated expressway will be reopened once all ramps are completed, as ordered by TRB, it said.
"Apologies for the inconvenience. SMC Infrastructure has no choice but to comply," management said.
However, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) issued an advisory on Tuesday saying the TRB has not issued a decision or directive ordering the closure indefinitely of Skyway Stage 3.
"This is to inform the public that the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) DID NOT ISSUE a decision or directive ordering the indefinite closure of the Skyway Stage 3 starting 5 p.m. of 16 March 2021," the DOTr said.
"The Toll Regulatory Board DID NOT ISSUE a decision or directive ordering the indefinite closure of the Skyway Stage 3," it added.
"TRB’s position is to keep Skyway Stage 3 OPEN for the benefit of motorists," the DOTr added.
"The TRB is composed of the Department of Transportation, Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Finance, National Economic Development Authority, and a representative from the private sector," it said.
TRB PRESS STATEMENT 16 March 2021 This is to inform the public that the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) DID NOT ISSUE a...Posted by Department of Transportation - Philippines on Monday, March 15, 2021
“Yes, I have just talk[ed] to [Transportation] Sec. [Arthur] Tugade. He will take care of TRB (Toll Regulatory Board),” Ang told GMA News Online.
The Skyway Stage 3 will thus remain open.
San Miguel Corp. is the concession holder of Metro Manila Skyway through San Miguel Infrastructure.
The 18-kilometer seven-lane Skyway Stage 3 Elevated Expressway was fully opened to motorists on January 15, after a soft opening in December 2020.
No toll fees have been collected, as San Miguel Corp. president and COO Ramon Ang said the company would keep the Skyway Stage 3 toll-free for as long as it can afford to do so.
Motorists are still using Skyway 3 for free because the TRB has yet to approve the proposed toll rates for the elevated expressway. —KG, GMA News