Unified toll collection seen to speed up travel to North
MANILA, Philippines–The concessionaires of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) and the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx) on Thursday signed a deal to integrate and simplify their toll collection system, which is expected to allow for faster travel to Central and Northern Luzon.
Senate President Franklin Drilon witnessed the signing of the agreement between Manila North Tollways Corp. (MNTC) and Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) at the Senate on Thursday.
Drilon earlier asked that the deal be hastened after he spent 11 hours on the road to Baguio City last Christmas because of the traffic that he said was exacerbated by the numerous toll stops.
The P650-million integration is expected to be completed in November this year.
Drilon on Thursday also pushed for an integrated toll collection system for the Skyway, South Luzon Expressway and Star Tollway for seamless travel to Southern Luzon.
He asked the Tollways Regulatory Board (TRB) to consider issuing an order for this, and said he hoped the integration of the south highways would be completed by June, before Congress tackles the TRB’s budget.
Once the integration of the NLEx and SCTEx toll collection is complete, motorists traveling to Northern Luzon would make fewer toll stops.
For instance, those headed to Subic from Balintawak would need to make only two stops instead of five.
A trip from Balintawak to Tarlac would require just two stops instead of four.
The MNTC and BCDA acknowledged Drilon’s role in pushing for an integration agreement.
Drilon himself recounted that he issued a “little threat” to the concessionaires: either hasten the integration or face a Senate inquiry, he said.
He noted that the Senate had been criticized for conducting numerous investigations.
“This time, I only mentioned that we would conduct an investigation and there were already results,” he said.
News handpicked by our editors
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.