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Slex toll jumps to P2.68 from P0.75 a kilometer

[ manilastandardtoday.com ] December 18-19, 2010
THE Toll Regulatory Board late Thursday approved the new toll rates on the 36-kilometer South Luzon Expressway with effect from Jan. 1.
The toll regulator allowed South Luzon to collect P3.02 per kilometer from cars and jeepneys, P6.06 per kilometer for buses and light trucks, and P9.09 per kilometer for heavy trucks.
But South Luzon Tollways Corp., the expressway’s operator, will start charging the new rates only in April and will offer discounts to road users.
The company said it will only collect P2.68 per kilometer from cars and jeepneys, P5.37 from buses and light trucks, and P8.05 from heavy trucks in January. As a result, the toll from Alabang to Santo Tomas in Batangas will be P97, P193 and P290, respectively.
The company will then give a P0.20 discount per kilometer in February and P0.10 per kilometer in March.
Motorists using the expressway now pay P0.75, P1.50, and P2.25 per kilometer depending on their vehicles.
“We are giving the public these calibrated discounts because we are grateful that we [have been] given the approval to collect the new toll rates in [the expressway],” South Luzon president Isaac David told reporters.
“It was a tough decision for us, but we would like to express sensitivity to public clamor. The management and lenders have agreed on this.”
David said his company would forgo P75 million in revenue from January to March as a result of the discounts it would be giving. And that would be on top of the P1.13-billion in losses that the company suffered as result of the delay in the approval of the new toll rates.
South Luzon Tollways, a unit of the Malaysian firm MTD Capital Bhd., obtained a 25-year concession in 2006 to operate the South Luzon Expressway. The company took over the toll road in May from Philippine National Construction Corp.
The company recently opened Toll Road 3 that connects Calamba in Laguna to Santo Tomas in Batangas. The operator will be allowing motorists to use the tollway for free until Dec. 31.
The company will also be waiving the toll on the road from 10 pm on Dec. 24 to 6 am on Dec. 25, and from 10 pm om Dec. 31 to 6 am on Jan. 1. Jeremiah F. de Guzman
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