[ manilastandardtoday.com ] November 29, 2010
THE Supreme Court removed the legal roadblock to a 250-percent increase in the South Luzon Expressway’s toll rates after it dismissed another petition seeking to stop the Toll Regulatory Board from imposing the increase.
The Court on Nov. 23 dismissed the petition against the increase filed by Albay Gov. Joey Salceda, saying it had ruled on the same issue on Oct. 19 and Salceda “has not raised, in this recourse, any new issue.”
The Court also ordered the lifting of the restraining order against the higher fees that it issued on Aug. 13 so that the operator of the toll road could start collecting the higher rates.
The Court said the increase in the toll rates that Salceda wanted stopped had already been remanded to the Toll Regulatory Board for review, and to determine whether or not the expressway’s operator was entitled to the increase.
The high court on Oct. 19 affirmed the constitutionality of the Toll Board’s issuances on the rate increase on the 30-kilometer South Luzon Expressway following the road’s upgrading. It said the board also had the power to grant the authority to build and operate toll roads by way of a toll operation agreement.
The higher toll fees on the rehabilitated road also need not require a public hearing before it could be imposed because those were initial, the Court said. Rey E. Requejo