No toll fee increase in January

Aya Lowe
Increasing toll rates is still under discussion

MANILA, Philippines – There will be no toll rate increase at the beginning of January 2013, according to a press statement of Ernest Francisco Jr from the Francisco Law Office. 

The toll rate will remain the same for the first few weeks of January next year, said the statement.

Tollway operators have filed petitions for toll rate increases since 2011. In July 2012, the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) started to conduct its hearings on the rate hike petitions of 3 major expressways in Luzon. 

The hearing looked into rate adjustments for the SCTEx or Subic-Clark Tarlac Expressway, STAR or Southern Tagalog Arterial Road and the Cavite Expressway.

“I have consistently opposed the said petitions and any toll rate increase. Such consistent opposition is one of the reasons why we are still enjoying the old toll rates,” said Francisco Jr.

“My opposition is premised on my position that the Toll Regulatory Board (“TRB”) should revise its rules of procedure to make sure that real public hearings are conducted, that the TRB should perform its own rate-fixing duty and not just rely on the rates proposed and fixed by the tollway operators, that there should be no automatic toll rate adjustment every two or 3 years as insisted by the tollway operators, and that the Commission on Audit (COA) should conduct its constitutional and statutory duty to protect the public from exorbitant and unreasonable toll rate increases.”

Starting January 2013, there will be successive hearings and trials on the 5 separate petitions for toll rate adjustment filed by 5 tollway operators and their battery of lawyers from big law firms way back in 2011. –

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