Cavitex operator seeks toll hike

By Lawrence Agcaoili, The Philippine Star

Posted at Dec 10 2014 08:33 AM | Updated as of Dec 10 2014 04:33 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Motorists should brace for possible toll hike at the Manila-Cavite toll expressway (Cavitex) starting New Year’s Day.

Cavite Infrastructure Corp. (CIC), a unit of infrastructure giant Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC), is seeking to jack up toll rates at the 13.5-kilometer Cavitex at an average of 22.7 percent starting Jan. 1.

The company intends to raise the toll to P27 from P22, excluding value-added tax (VAT), for Class 1 vehicles particularly cars and vans, and to P54 from P44 for Class 2 vehicles, including buses. For Class 3 vehicles including trucks, the operator intends to impose a toll of P81 from P66.

Including VAT, Class 1 vehicles would be charged P30 per entry, P61 for Class 2 vehicles and P91 for Class 3 vehicles.

CIC has filed a petition for approval of periodic toll rate adjustment with the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB).

CIC’s lawyer Joseph Marigomen said the company’s Toll Operation Agreement (TOA) allows periodic adjustment of the agreed toll rate every three years.

“Based on the three-year period for a periodic adjustment of Agreed Toll Rate, and based on petitioner’s application made at the last Toll Rate Review date in September 2011, petitioner is therefore entitled under the TOA to an adjustment of the agreed toll rate to take effect on Jan. 1, 2015,” Marigomen noted in the petition.

CIC president Luigi Bautista said in a separate certification that the toll rate adjustment being sought by the company is in accordance with Clause 7.04 of the TOA.

“The matter is of extreme urgency and the petitioner CIC will suffer great damage and/or irreparable injury before a decision on the merits can be rendered by the TRB, and/or failure to immediately impose and collect the increase in rates would result in outright delay or stoppage of urgently needed improvements, expansions, or repairs of the toll facilities of the Cavitex,” Bautista said.

Sherelle Perez, a government employee living in Dasmariñas, Cavite and working in Manila, questioned the validity of the proposed toll increase, given the heavy traffic along Cavitex.

“There is absolutely no justification for the proposed hike in toll. Motorists are not getting what they pay for. Despite the existing toll, traffic remains very heavy. Moreover, the intersection of Cavitex and Coastal remains problematic,” Perez stressed.

Another government employee from Bacoor, Cavite, Joanna Cobarrubias, believes that the proposed toll hike is reasonable.

“I believe the proposed toll hike is reasonable. An additional P6 should not be deemed burdensome by motorists who benefit from the tollroad,” she added.

Earlier, MPIC’s Manila North Tollways Corp. (MNTC) proposed an average 15 percent increase in the toll at the 86.7-kilometer North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) as allowed under Supplemental Toll Operation Agreement (STOA) signed in April 1998.

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