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Koko asks TRB, NLEX to freeze toll hike

June 13, 2023 PS Jun M. Sarmiento 91 views

Urges end to ‘EDSA-like’ traffic

SENATE Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III on Tuesday called on the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) and the North Luzon Express NLEX) Corporation to put on hold the provisional increase in toll rates in light of the worsening traffic conditions on the expressway and the burden of inflation faced by the Filipino people.

“In behalf of the hundreds of thousands of motorists plying the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), I appeal for some considerations and reprieve on the proposed increased toll rates. Our people are grappling with the effects of inflation and, therefore, implementing a toll increase at these challenging times would exacerbate their economic hardships,” Pimentel said.

The TRB has recently approved a provisional increase toll increase at NLEX, wherein Class 1 vehicles (car, jeepney, van, or pickup) will have to pay an additional P7 in NLEX’s open system effective June 15; P17 for Class 2 (bus and light trucks); and P19 for Class 3 (heavy and trailer trucks).

NLEX’s “open system” covers Balintawak in Caloocan, Mindanao Avenue, and Marilao in Bulacan.

In the NLEX closed system, starting in Marilao to Sta. Ines in Mabalacat City, motorists will pay an additional P26 for Class 1, P65 for Class 2, and P11 for Class 3.

“Any increase at this point would be unjustifiable and unfair to the motorists who have to deal with sometimes EDSA-like traffic on the expressway, specifically from Balintawak to Meycauayan,” Pimentel said.

“Bago sila humingi ng dagdag na bayad, ayusin muna nila ang trapik sa NLEX. I call on the management of NLEX to address this perennial traffic buildup on our major expressway,” Pimentel stressed.

Pimentel noted that based on the data of NLEX, at least 280,000 vehicles are plying through NLEX daily.

“It has come to our attention that traffic congestion on NLEX has become a recurring problem that causes delays and inconvenience for motorists,” according to Pimentel.

He thus called on the TRB to prioritize the interests of the public and ensure that the toll rates remain fair and reasonable.

“To approve a provisional increase in light of these serious traffic concerns and the worsening inflation in the country is a disservice to the Filipino people,” the Senate chief fiscalizer emphasized.

“It is time that the government provides some relief to our motorists,” he added.