Aquino to review SLEx toll increase

President-elect Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III said he would order a review of the 250-percent increase in toll of the private operator of the South Luzon Expressway (SLEx) which would take effect at the start of his administration.

“One has to wonder why the increase is that big. Was the rate given to them insufficient to begin with to justify the massive changes?” said Aquino in a press conference.

Aquino said that he found the toll rates at the Northern Luzon Expressway (which he used more often than the SLEx because of his family’s Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac) more reasonable than the SLEx and he wanted to know the reason for the discrepancy.

“I will want to be appraised as to why, and I think that is within the purview of the DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways) Secretary which has power over the TRB (Toll Regulatory Board),” said Aquino.

He did not confirm or deny whether he was appointing Jose “Ping” de Jesus as his Public Works Secretary, which he held during his mother’s regime.

The TRB recently approved South Luzon Tollway Corp.’s application for a P3.52 per kilometer toll increase from the current rate of 82 centavos to recoup its investments in the P11-billion rehabilitation of the expressway.