Increase in prices of goods feared as tollway operators seek toll fee hike

The prices of commodities may possibly increase if the petitions filed by tollway operators to hike toll fees are granted by the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB). That is because delivering dried and frozen goods costs as much as a fifth of the retail price of goods according to a report by 9TV Network News.

Norman Adriano, secretary general of Supply Chain Management Association of the Philippines, said a trucking company may pass the additional delivery cost on to the company who hired it, who will then pass the additional cost to their clients by increasing the price of their products.

The tollway operators are seeking to increase their toll fees starting January next year.

The Manila North Tollway Corp. (MNTC), Cavitex Infrastructure Corp. (CIC), South Luzon Tollway Corp.-Manila Toll Expressway Systems Inc. (SLTC-MATES) and STAR Infrastructure Development Corp. (SIDC) filed separate petitions for toll adjustment according to TRB.

TRB spokesperson Julius Corpuz the four major tollway operators’ petitions are as follows:

– The MNTC, operator of North Luzon Expressway or NLEX is seeking a toll increase of 15 percent.

– The CIC is asking for a 25 percent toll increase for the MIAA Road to Zapote segment of Cavitex.

– The SLTC-MATES, which operates the South Luzon Expressway or SLEX, is requesting a 33 percent toll increase from Alabang to Santo Tomas in Batangas.

– The SIDC is petitioning for a 16 percent toll hike for the Southern Tagalog Arterial Road or STAR tollway.

Aside from the aforementioned tollway operators, a petition filed by the operator of the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) is also pending at the TRB.

The toll hike petitions, according to the TRB, will be subjected to a thorough review and evaluation. The petitioners should prove that their application for a toll adjustment is meritorious and that the rate increase is justified.

“The TRB will conduct its thorough review and evaluation of the proposed toll rate increase. At the end of the day, the government wants to impose rates that are just and reasonable: not too low that is confiscatory on the part of the investor but not too high as to be offensive to the motorists,” Corpuz said.