TRB welcomes moves of transport groups to challenge toll hike fee decision in court

June 19, 2010 11:48 am 

MANILA, June 19 – The Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) on Saturday welcomed the move of several transport groups and concerned individuals to challenge in the courts their decision to allow the operators of the Southern Luzon Expressway (SLEX) to raise by as much as 250 percent the toll fees being collected in the said roadway.

"That's is their (transport groups)right and we respect their decision to do so," TRB spokesperson Julius Corpuz said.

The TRB spokesperson made this response in wake of several transport groups vowed to challenge their toll fee hike decision at the Court of Appeals.

He also stressed that the increase is needed in order for Southern Luzon Tollways Corporation (SLTC) to recoup the P12 billion it expended in improving the safety and security features of the SLEX.

Upgrades made by SLTC for the SLEX include construction of new toll plazas, rehabilitation of old toll facilities, acquisition of toll gathering equipment and softwares, lighting facilities and installation of security cameras.

The toll fee hike is expected to take effect this coming 30.

Present day toll fees for SLEX's Alabang to Calamba route is P22 for light or small vehicles, P43 for passenger buses, and P65 for cargo trucks.

Corpuz also stressed that the new toll are provisional in nature and "any interested expressway user may file a petition for review of the new toll fees within 90 days from the date of publication.”

“Thereafter, the TRB shall conduct a public hearing to discuss the issues raised by the petitioners and to determine if the new toll fees are indeed justifiable," he added.

SLTC has a 30-year lease to operate SLEX. It is 80 percent owned by Malaysian Capital Berhad.

SLEX's Alabang to Calamba stretch is 27.3 kilometers long, with an eight-kilometer extension to the 42-kilometer Southern Tagalog Arterial Road, which starts in Santo Tomas, Batangas and ends in Batangas City. (PNA)

LBV/PFN

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