No plan to turn EDSA into a toll road –Palace

Published August 24, 2020, 10:03 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

The government has no plans to impose a toll on motorists passing EDSA, a major thoroughfare in Metro Manila, Malacañang said Monday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque (RESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

“Wala pong ganoong initiatives sa pamahalaan ni Presidente Duterte. Kung mayroon man, sa ibang presidente po iyon (There is no  such initiative from the government of President Duterte. If there is, it might be a different president),” Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said during a Palace press briefing Monday.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) earlier said the proposed EDSA toll has been suggested by some stakeholders but the government has not formally discussed the matter.

Metro Manila Development Authority general manager Jojo Garcia has also reportedly agreed with the proposal to charge motorists a fee in traversing EDSA. Garcia, in an interview over TV5 Friday last Friday, acknowledged that an EDSA toll would make sense to ease traffic congestion along the busy highway.

Angered by the suspicion of corruption raised by a senator, President Duterte previously indicated he would no longer request for emergency powers and would “let EDSA rot.”  The government instead moved to step up infrastructure projects to improve the traffic situation. Last year, Duterte promised to cut down the travel time between Makati City and Cubao.

The construction of some major projects was temporarily suspended during the previous strict coronavirus lockdown. Infrastructure works however have already resumed but subject to health protocols as part of the relaxed quarantine level.