Toll Hike Tsunami in the making

SLEX after rehabilitation

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.

Regards,

Jenifer C. Aquino-Xavier
306 Buena Vida Homes
Merville Park Subdivision
Parañaque City.

Guest Writer

  • GabbyD

    regarding the speed issue, kailangang tapusin nila ang alabang to makati.

    an increase like that, only to get choked into 2.5 lanes after the alabang flyover? di bale na lang.

    further, what they really need 2 do is expedite payment via a better electronic toll tag.

    it should be a device that makes it easy to top off value and it shouldnt break down. if it does, the skyway corp should replace it for free. it should also be easy to check how much is in the device. they should also change the toll, depending on time of day, to spread out demand.

    ang problema, without these improvements, improving the exits, will slow cars down.

    • Manuelbuencamino

      the alabang flyover belongs ro skyway not slex

    • cocoy

      Speedy payment? There is already E-pass. 😉 Busses use it, but not all. Cars use it, but not everyone can afford to. and re: alabang flyover, *points to Manuel B*

      • GabbyD

        yeah, i said “better” electronic tag.

        in fact they should just give away the tag, and then slowly get it back via layaway plan. there are other issues with it too, like knowing how much money is in it, the convenience of payment (right now, u top off using a kiosk, that occassionally doesnt work). u should be able to pay online, etc…

        they can also use a payment sched coz depending on time of day. they can also offer discounts for bulk purchase (with good cash mgt, they can earn interest on the bulk purchase coz it takes time to consume it ie. u pay 1000 which is consumed over 2 weeks)

        re flyover

        from the POV of the traveller, it doesnt matter which corporate entity controls which portion. the only thing that matters is: does the new road take me to the CBD faster? right now, the answer is no, due to construction to the skyway once u get past the flyover.

        • Manuelbuencamino

          re flyover

          it’s good to know who owns what so you’ll know where to register your complaints

  • GabbyD

    regarding the speed issue, kailangang tapusin nila ang alabang to makati.

    an increase like that, only to get choked into 2.5 lanes after the alabang flyover? di bale na lang.

    further, what they really need 2 do is expedite payment via a better electronic toll tag.

    it should be a device that makes it easy to top off value and it shouldnt break down. if it does, the skyway corp should replace it for free. it should also be easy to check how much is in the device. they should also change the toll, depending on time of day, to spread out demand.

    ang problema, without these improvements, improving the exits, will slow cars down.

    • Manuelbuencamino

      the alabang flyover belongs ro skyway not slex

    • cocoy

      Speedy payment? There is already E-pass. 😉 Busses use it, but not all. Cars use it, but not everyone can afford to. and re: alabang flyover, *points to Manuel B*

      • GabbyD

        yeah, i said “better” electronic tag.

        in fact they should just give away the tag, and then slowly get it back via layaway plan. there are other issues with it too, like knowing how much money is in it, the convenience of payment (right now, u top off using a kiosk, that occassionally doesnt work). u should be able to pay online, etc…

        they can also use a payment sched coz depending on time of day. they can also offer discounts for bulk purchase (with good cash mgt, they can earn interest on the bulk purchase coz it takes time to consume it ie. u pay 1000 which is consumed over 2 weeks)

        re flyover

        from the POV of the traveller, it doesnt matter which corporate entity controls which portion. the only thing that matters is: does the new road take me to the CBD faster? right now, the answer is no, due to construction to the skyway once u get past the flyover.

        • Manuelbuencamino

          re flyover

          it’s good to know who owns what so you’ll know where to register your complaints

  • cocoy

    On a personal note, i’m actually for toll hike. I actually use the tollway at least once a month, so price increases do affect me. Why am I for toll hike:

    1. The government outsourced the construction of the highway. Ergo, these people deserve to be paid for their services. I mean, give to Caesar what is his. You know?

    2. This was a contract. People already knew how much the toll would be before the project began.

    3. There are only two things the government could do: pay off the firm, or let consumers pay for it. The government can’t afford to pay off because it needs the money for other things like education and like paying for government employees. There is a finite amount the government currently has.

    4. The problem with the last administration was, corporations entered into a contract with the government. The government for some reason or another would go against the contract, breaking it. No one wants to do business in that kind of uncertain environment.

    5. Yes, eventually there is an effect in other parts of the chain. The higher the cost to bring goods and services to different parts of the country, the price increases. There are two ways to go about it: raise prices, and eventually people will find an alternative to your good or service because they can’t afford to get your good or service. The second is keeping prices in the same level, but of course as a business person, you find ways to cut or make production more efficient.

    Could the speed in delivering goods and services offset the cost of increase? I dunno. That’s something each producer must answer for themselves, correct?

    6. It isn’t a lopsided deal. Better roads mean, people get from Point A to Point B, much quicker. The savings in time, stress must be factored. Faster means people get to do more, ergo productivity rises. The old system meant traffic, and time consumed should be factored into loss productivity.

    7. i find that people want to have improved roads, but without paying for it. You can not create something out of nothing.

    8. 300% increase shocks people because for 10 years there hasn’t been an incremental increase in toll and too little capital expenditure to improve services. ergo, when it is time to improve, people get shocked at the cost. Everyone is so used to more than a decade of social democracy that the government hides the reality.

    9. Sadly i think for this case, we should just bite the bullet.

    • Manuelbuencamino

      korek ka dyan cocoy. Time for this country to grow up. Besides maganda na ang slex ngayon plus pag may konting lubak inaayos agad.

      We want the government to absorb the costs for us parang welfare state but you can’t have a welfare state without raising taxes and we don’t want that either. As the Malaysian owners of slex would say, “What to do, lah?”

  • cocoy

    On a personal note, i’m actually for toll hike. I actually use the tollway at least once a month, so price increases do affect me. Why am I for toll hike:

    1. The government outsourced the construction of the highway. Ergo, these people deserve to be paid for their services. I mean, give to Caesar what is his. You know?

    2. This was a contract. People already knew how much the toll would be before the project began.

    3. There are only two things the government could do: pay off the firm, or let consumers pay for it. The government can’t afford to pay off because it needs the money for other things like education and like paying for government employees. There is a finite amount the government currently has.

    4. The problem with the last administration was, corporations entered into a contract with the government. The government for some reason or another would go against the contract, breaking it. No one wants to do business in that kind of uncertain environment.

    5. Yes, eventually there is an effect in other parts of the chain. The higher the cost to bring goods and services to different parts of the country, the price increases. There are two ways to go about it: raise prices, and eventually people will find an alternative to your good or service because they can’t afford to get your good or service. The second is keeping prices in the same level, but of course as a business person, you find ways to cut or make production more efficient.

    Could the speed in delivering goods and services offset the cost of increase? I dunno. That’s something each producer must answer for themselves, correct?

    6. It isn’t a lopsided deal. Better roads mean, people get from Point A to Point B, much quicker. The savings in time, stress must be factored. Faster means people get to do more, ergo productivity rises. The old system meant traffic, and time consumed should be factored into loss productivity.

    7. i find that people want to have improved roads, but without paying for it. You can not create something out of nothing.

    8. 300% increase shocks people because for 10 years there hasn’t been an incremental increase in toll and too little capital expenditure to improve services. ergo, when it is time to improve, people get shocked at the cost. Everyone is so used to more than a decade of social democracy that the government hides the reality.

    9. Sadly i think for this case, we should just bite the bullet.

    • Manuelbuencamino

      korek ka dyan cocoy. Time for this country to grow up. Besides maganda na ang slex ngayon plus pag may konting lubak inaayos agad.

      We want the government to absorb the costs for us parang welfare state but you can’t have a welfare state without raising taxes and we don’t want that either. As the Malaysian owners of slex would say, “What to do, lah?”