Confusion over Skyway 3 ‘closure’ irks senators

Published March 16, 2021, 2:51 PM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

Senate President Vicente Sotto III welcomed the announcement that the Skyway Stage 3 will not be closed to motorists as earlier reported.


“Ramon Ang to the rescue! As usual!” Sotto said on Tuesday, after the San Miguel Corporation (SMC) president confirmed that the Skyway 3 will remain open.

Senators had raised their eyebrows over reported directive of the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) to close the Skyway Stage 3 indefinitely. The TRB, however, denied that it issued such an order for the road project that links the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) to the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX).

“Perwisyong gobyerno. Another case of overregulation,” Senator Panfilo Lacson tweeted following initial reports on the closure of Skyway 3.

Sotto also expressed alarm over the report, calling the Department of Transportation (DOTr) for clarification. “Anong kababalaghan itong gusto ng TRB? Bakiiiit (What mystery is the TRB pursuing? Why)!!” he posted on Tuesday morning.

Senator Francis Pangilinan also aired his confused about the previous reports.

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, who also protested the reported closure, said in a statement: “The least thing that we need right now is another issue that will only sow confusion among the public and add up unnecessarily to the government’s concern on the already precarious health situation problem.” He further said: “The TRB should get their act together. This is not only causing confusion but also distress to the public, especially to those already plying the route regularly since late last year.” Gatchalian said “common sense dictates” that motorists should be informed ahead of such announcements.

“It cannot be done on a whim just like what was earlier reported that it will be reopened once all ramps are complete,” he said.

Clarifying the reported directive, the DOTr said the TRB’s position is to keep the Skyway 3 open.

Aside from the DOTr, the TRB is composed of the Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Finance, the National Economic and Development Authority and a representative from the private sector.