MNTC eyes 15% toll fee hike to defray ‘losses’

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THE Manila North Tollways Corp. (MNTC) is eyeing a 15-percent increase in toll fees to help defray revenue losses.

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“We are still waiting for feedback from the TRB (Toll Regulatory Board). We have a pending petition for 11-plus percent increase, then we submitted a new petition for 3.5-percent hike, so with the two petitions we filed, it’s about 15 percent increase combined,” said Rodrigo Franco, MNTC president and chief executive officer.

“I don’t know how they process the petitions. Do they process one petition at a time, or will they decide on both petitions at the same time? We’re waiting for feedback from them,” Franco added

Franco said the one-and-a-half year delay in the granting of MNTC’s toll hike petitions would translate to about P1.8 billion in revenue losses.

Earlier this month, MNTC filed a petition with the TRB for the bi-annual adjustment of toll rates in the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), which falls due on January 1, 2015 under its concession terms.

MNTC said that the rate adjustment is on top of an earlier petition it submitted in 2012, which was supposed to have taken effect in January 2013.

The latest petition would bring the cumulative toll rate adjustment to 15 percent, of which 12 percent, according to the corporation, is long overdue.

Meanwhile, MNTC reported a 6 percent growth in net income in the third quarter to P1.82 billion, against last year’s comparative P1.71 billion.

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