Press Release
February 26, 2013


Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III, PDP Laban President, yesterday questioned what he called as the "unreasonable high toll rates" collected at the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) saying that it has unduly burdened motorists from southern Luzon and has affected the economic activities between southern Luzon and the nation's capital.

"It baffles me why SLEX is way more expensive compared to the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX)," Pimentel explained, "I understand that SLEX toll rates are twice as expensive as that of NLEX." He added that this is strange because NLEX has the better roads and facilities for motorists.

According to calculations, an 88 kilometer distance at the NLEX has a toll rate of P195 while SLEX charges P192 for a mere 44.5 kilometer distance. SLEX Manila to Alabang route has as its concessionaire the Citra Metro Manila Tollways Corporation and is operated by the Skyway Operations and Maintenance Corporation.

The South Luzon Tollway Corporation on the other hand is the concessionaire of the Alabang-Sto.Tomas portion with the Manila Toll Expressway Systems as operator. Both were built under Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) program of the government.

The re-electionist Senator said that while he understands the need to woo investors with attractive return-on-investments schemes, this cannot be done "at the expense of motorists who depend on the road for their livelihood."

"Remember that trade and business coming from southern Luzon and Bicol use this important highway to transport goods. We cannot have high toll rates that tend to constrict activities in these areas," Pimentel said in a statement.

Pimentel added: "I have driven along SLEX, there are parts of the expressway that are either poorly lit or have no lighting at all. And the roads are not exactly first class in terms of being paved."

It will be recalled that there was a 300% increase in SLEX tolls in 2010 that was widely opposed by the public. The Supreme Court at that time dismissed petitions opposing the said toll rates increases.

Pimentel has asked for a review of the existing toll rates in order to "protect the interest of the riding public and those who use the SLEX for their livelihood."

"This is really another form of cheating," Pimentel claims, "ang nadaya dito ay ang mga kababayan natin sa southern Luzon kasi ang taas ng binabayad nila, eh di hamak na mas maganda ang tollway sa north Luzon."

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