San Miguel unit starts toll refund for ETC disruption

San Miguel Corp. (SMC) said it has started issuing refunds to motorists on Wednesday, in light of its recent announcement of waived toll for those that were affected by a system glitch last week.

The company said the refunds will cover all vehicles that passed through affected tollways, including the South Luzon Expressway (Slex), Star Tollway, Naia Expressway (Naix), and Skyway from Alabang to Buendia on November 17 between 6:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. “To effect the refund, SMC Infra said it will electronically credit the Autosweep accounts of vehicles with RFID tags starting November 23. Meanwhile, motorists who paid in cash will be given a one-time free pass, which they can use at any exit of Slex, Star, NAIAx, or Skyway Stages 1 and 2,” the company said in a statement.

Motorists can avail their free pass at any cash/mixed-lane exits along the toll roads by surrendering their valid official receipt issued on November 17 from 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Last week, roughly 84,000 motorists were affected by the traffic jam along portions of its expressways, due to a network outage in SMC’s electronic toll collection (ETC) platform.

SMC traced the source of the disruption to damaged fiber optic cables that transmit load data to a database shared with its technology partner. It has since been determined that the cables sustained damage as a result of a recent major accident that severely damaged a pedestrian footbridge along Dr. A. Santos Avenue in Sucat, Parañaque, which was later demolished. 

While the system was restored at around 9 a.m., SMC decided to extend the free use of its expressways to a total of eight hours, or until 2 p.m., to ensure a smoother traffic flow. 

The refund period began Wednesday and will run up to December 22.

To ensure smooth traffic, the company said it would deploy additional personnel at cash lanes to facilitate the refund in anticipation of queues.


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