Transportation Secretary Jose de Jesus
Dept. of Transportation and Communication
Dear Secretary De Jesus;
Thank you very much for considering hearing the side of the public with regards to the Toll Hike. It is indeed a heated and much debated issue since the toll fee hike was first discussed last year and implemented this January 2011.
It seems that the ripples of this coming Tsunami has not been considered by those who proposed it if they were indeed looking out for the welfare of their riding public. A 300% increase does not only affect commuters and those with vehicles, it will affect everyone – and I mean everyone, even those who do not use the SLEX.
With a 300% increase – everything – from the simple newspaper delivery to and from Metro Manila to the cargo delivery to and from Metro Manila of everything under the sun – from consumables [food, livestock, poultry, fish, vegetables, canned goods, dry goods, etc] to things used that are delivered [car parts, furniture, spare parts, appliances, different types of equipment and their parts] and even fuel – raw to processed fuel – everything will be affected. Things and produce that come from the southern part of Luzon that use the SLEX as a main artery to deliver their wares and goods will also be affected.
Delivery fees, middlemen fees, bus fares, jeepney fares, etc will jack up just cover the cost of plying the SLEX and this exorbitant toll fee charge. Prices of each and every item that pass through the SLEX will be affected and it will go up and everyone in Metro Manila and those in the southern part of Luzon will be adversely affected by any expected price increases of goods, services and other deliveries. The prices of fuel will go up, the cost of travelling to and from will go up, and this will affect everyone who travels via SLEX, parents and students, the working class and even local tourists will be affected.
Just as this country sees hope with a new administration, the prices of everything seem to be going up and to put an increase this big on such a vital artery like SLEX might and will be the straw that breaks our backs. This unfair increase isn’t something that jives with the ideals set upon us when President Aquino took his Oath of Office.
I hope and pray that any increase be seen from all angles and be considered from all angles and not just of those who will benefit from this. Apparently, the SLEX isn’t there anymore to “serve” the riding/commuting public nor does it appear as something that is more beneficial to the greater majority of Filipinos. I honestly feel those who manage the SLEX and insist on pushing through with this increase does not want the public to use the highway. It actually feels like entrapment because there is no other choice nor alternative to get from point A to point B and for those who manage it to loosely comment that those who object can use the “service roads” and/or alternative routes is utterly insensitive to the plight of ordinary citizens – millions of whom live at both ends of the SLEX even in and around it.
The Philippine Constitution states that the right to travel will not be ” impaired except in the interest of national security, public safety, or public health, as may be provided by law.” – in which case – the right to travel freely within our country is going to be greatly impaired with this increase. Of course, nothing comes for free. There has to be some middle ground everyone can benefit from. 300% increase is not middle ground nor is it a win-win solution. It is very lopsided favoring only those who proposed it and will prosper from it and they are not even Filipinos but this is on Filipino soil used by Filipinos.
I pray the voices of Filipinos be heard and the plight of the common man be addressed first before anything else by this government.
With best wishes.
Jenifer C. Aquino-Xavier
306 Buena Vida Homes
Merville Park Subdivision