Many Metro Manila motorists would readily agree that the Naia Expressway Phase II public private partnership project is a godsend.

So it was with great pride that San Miguel Corp. president Ramon Ang formally inaugurated the 7.7-kilometer toll road last Thursday. Recall that SMC won the PPP back under President Aquino’s term. It was opened September last year, although partially.

So enthusiastic was Ang that he even decided to drive himself and key government officials during the traditional drive through that accompanies inauguration events like these.

Ang, one of the country’s richest men, is known for his legendary collection of very rare and very expensive cars.

Last Thursday, his automobile of choice was the relatively humble Toyota Hilux pick-up truck.

The guests ferried by the billionaire-chauffeur were Mark Villar (Department of Public Works and Highways), Arthur Tugade (Department of Transportation) and Benjamin Diokno (Department of Budget and Management).

Perhaps the most peculiar aspect of the inauguration was its 11:00 p.m. call time. Some joked: Was it a midnight deal? ( it really wasn’t).

Turns out, the government officials simply wanted to cause as little inconvenience to motorists. Good thinking for a great project. —MIGUEL R. CAMUS

05 June 2017