Bill seeks free toll on holidays

Bill seeks free toll on holidays

A BILL seeking to exempt motorists from paying the toll on connecting highways during regular holidays has been filed before the House of Representatives, citing how it would help “ensure smooth travel.”

“This bill proposes to exempt all vehicles on regular holidays from the payment of toll fees under such procedures and circumstances,” Quezon City Rep. Marvin C. Rillo said in the explanatory note of House Bill No. 9661.

Regular holidays have a fixed date like Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, and Independence Day, including holidays like Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Eid’l Fitr, Eidul Adha, and National Heroes Day.

Mr. Rillo said the measure would help avoid traffic congestion and financial losses, especially when traveling. 

Citing a Boston Consulting Group study conducted in 2017, Mr. Rillo said motorists and commuters spend an average of 66 minutes in daily traffic in Metro Manila, leading to a projected daily loss of P3.5 billion due to congestion.

Metro Manila was ranked the ninth worst congested city out of 389 cities in the TomTom Traffic Index 2022.

It took an average of 27 minutes for Filipinos to travel 10 kilometers in the capital region last year, according to TomTom.

On Dec. 7, NLEX Corp., a unit of Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC), sought an increase in the toll after the completion of the Magsaysay Interchange.

NLEX Corp. maintains the current discounted rate of P86 for the NLEX Connector, but once approved, the fee will increase to P120.

The Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) in July approved to increase the toll at the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX).

The toll for class 1 vehicles or cars and jeepneys is at P4.62 per kilometer, P9.32 per kilometer for class 2 vehicles or trucks and buses, and class 3 vehicles would have to pay P13.85 per kilometer for class 3 vehicles or trucks with three or more axles. — Beatriz Marie D. Cruz