Motorists and users of the country’s expressways will not be slapped with higher toll fees amid the pandemic.
Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Art Tugade gave the assurance Tuesday night, Sept. 21,2021, after the signing of the Supplemental Toll Operations Agreement (STOA) for the Pasig River Expressway (PAREX) between the agency and San Miguel Corporation.
And while DOTr may approve toll rate hikes, considering the condition imposed by the current health crisis, Tugade said these “will definitely be implemented at a later date.”
“DOTr understands the clamor of tollway operators for increases in toll rates to generate needed revenues to sustain their operations.”
The DOTr, he said, through the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) must uphold and protect the interest of the public, especially with the pandemic’s economic effects.
“We need to strike a good balance,” he explained. “We need to balance the need of investors and operators with what paying capability of the public.”
“Are we expecting increases at this time? If I’ll prevail, we can approve toll increases but defer their implementation,” he reiterated.