Metro Toll Headed to Arbitration against Government
Metro Pacific Investments Corp. recently stated it will file an arbitration case against the government, assuming the Toll Regulatory Board will choose not to act on its petition to raise the cost of tolls. Metro president and chief executive Rodrigo Franco stated the regulatory board will decide mid-March on the company’s petition to increase tolls at the North Luzon Expressway and the Cavite Expressway. According to Franco, the company is ready for arbitration.
Manila North Tollways Corporation filed a petition with the regulatory board in September 2014 regarding the bi-annual toll adjustment that should have started at the beginning of 2015. That petition is in addition to the petition filed in 2012 for a toll hike scheduled for 2013. Together these hikes would bring the adjustment to a 15% hike, 12 of which are overdue.
Tolls at NLEx from Mindanao Avenue to Sta. Ines currently amount to:
- P218 for Class 1 vehicles (cars, jeepneys, pickup trucks and vans)
- P544 for Class 2 vehicles (two-axle trucks, buses and vans)
- P652 for Class 3 vehicles (trucks and trailers with three or more axles)
The companies have stated that periodic toll adjustments are a contractual right given to toll operators under the operation agreement. Other toll companies also filed for double digit toll increases.
According to the executive director of the regulatory board, extending the concession period is an option they are considering that would serve as a compromise with the operators and the government. He points out there are options available that the board needs to consider. Once they study the choices, they want to make sure the best option is legal and will satisfy both sides.