The North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and Manila-Cavite Expressway (Cavitex) are expected to increase their toll fee rates soon–although at a gradual phase to lessen its impact on motorists.
According to Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, the toll fee price hike has long been overdue, and its operator, Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC), has agreed to a staggered payment system for paying the overdue toll prices.
Factoring the adjustment, the total amount that needs to be paid by the MPTC has reached over PHP8 billion, which is PHP2 billion more than the initial PHP6 billion payment they should have received back in 2016.
The toll free adjustment was supposed to have taken effect last January 2013 for Cavitex, and January 2015 for the NLEx. However, the modifications haven’t been implemented due to delays, which prompted MPTC to file an arbitration case in Singapore last 2016.
Now that the toll fee price hike is expected to push through, MPTC has decided to stop the arbitration case they filed in Singapore.
“We’ve also supported the position of the government that we find a mutual acceptable way of settling the issue,” said MPTC President Rodrigo Franco.
Possible Implementation This Year
The increase in toll fee rates might possibly take effect this year. So far, MPTC is waiting for the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) for the next action.
“We are waiting for TRB action on the petitions. We don’t know yet how much of the increase will be allowed to be implemented this year. We should hear from the TRB soon,” he said.
Meanwhile, MPTC’s other charted proposals to build new expressways will be delayed until they see a clear picture of how the toll fee increase will be implemented.
“If the situation continues not to be resolved, then obviously, we will be forced to at least [slow] down on the projects that have not yet started,” Franco said. “That is why we are hoping we will have some clarity on the toll rate.”
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