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Monday, December 27, 2010



Motorists plying the South Luzon Expressway (SLEx) will have to pay significantly higher toll fees beginning next year after the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) gave the go signal for the increase.

The new rate of P3.02 per kilometer, over 300% more than the current rate of 78 centavos, will be implemented at 12:01 a.m. on January 1, 2011.

But SLEx operator South Luzon Tollways Corp. (SLTC) said it would give consumers discounts between January and March as it plans to implement the toll increase in staggered basis.

Instead of charging the whole P3.02, SLTC said it would only charge P2.68 per kilometer in January. By February, it will increase the rate to P2.80, then P2.90 by March.

This means motorists traveling from Alabang, Muntinlupa City to Calamba, Laguna will have to pay P76 in January from the current P22, and this would go up to P86 when the full rate increase takes effect in April.

For the Calamba to Sto. Tomas, Batangas stretch, motorists will be charged P23 next year.

According to SLTC,, the total discount for the 3 months to March was estimated at P75 million, an amount considered as foregone revenue on their part.

SLTC also announced that they will implement a "toll holiday" for the entire Alabang to Sto. Tomas stretch on Christmas eve (from 10 p.m. December 24 until 6 a.m. December 25) and on New Year's eve (from 10 p.m. December 31 until 6 a.m. January 1).

SLTC noted that while it volunteered to provide consumers relief in the early months of 2011, it was still in talks with the government for the recovery of P1.1 billion in foregone revenue arising from the delay in the implementation of the new rates from August to December.

The TRB, however, was insisting it would not compensate SLTC for the said lost revenue due to a recent Supreme Court decision.

Higher fares

Because of the impending toll hike at SLEx, the South Luzon Bus Operators' Association (SOLUBOA) said it has no other choice but to seek a fare hike.

SOLUBOA President Homer Mercado said they will file a petition for a P0.30 per kilometer increase in fares before the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board.

If approved, the regular fare for the first 50 kilometers will increase from P65 to P80. - Reports from Zen Hernandez and Ryan Chua, ABS-CBN News



As a treat to expressway users, the South Luzon Tollway Corporation (SLTC) will waive collection of the toll for the 36-kilometer expressway from Alabang in Muntinlupa to Sto. Tomas in Batangas from 10 p.m. of December 31 to 6 a.m. of January 1.

The STAR Tollway Corporation (STC) will observe the same toll holiday at the 42-kilometer highway from Sto. Tomas to Balagtas town in Batangas province.

Given the toll holiday, motorists are expected to save P86 at SLEx and P60 at STAR.

Meanwhile, Citra Metro Manila Tollway Corporation (CMMTC) will not implement a similar toll holiday for users of South Metro Manila Skyway, it is still letting motorists use the elevated portion of the expressway from Bicutan to Sucat toll free until the Alabang extension is finished by May 2011.

Last December 22, 2010, CMMTC reverted to its P85 toll rate for the use of the elevated Skyway.



Rates for Class 1 vehicles including jeepneys, pickups, vans and cars will go up to P3.03 per km from 76 centavos.

Because of this, motorists will have to pay P86 from the current P22 for the Alabang-Calamba stretch.

Rates for Class 2 vehicles such as buses will be P6.06/kilometer from P1.52, thus the Alabang to Calamba charge will rise to P172 from P42.86.

Class 3 rates for trucks will be P9.09 per kilometer from P2.28, which brings the toll for the stretch of highway to P258 from P64.30.

In a separate report, the
BusinessWorld said the discounted January rates translate to P76, P152 and P228 for Class 1, 2 and 3 vehicles, respectively, for the Alabang-Calamba portion of the highway.

The discount will go down to 30 centavos in February, and 13 centavos in March.

The South Luzon Tollway Corp. reportedly spent P12 billion for the rehabilitation and expansion of the Alabang to Calamba stretch.

Moreover, the BusinessWorld report said additional toll fee hikes can still be expected as the SC still has to rule on the imposition of the 12-percent value-added tax. — LBG, GMANews.TV



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