• MPIC to seek arbitration against TRB on toll rates


    Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) has formally announced its intention to pursue an arbitration case against the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) for alleged inaction on the rate adjustment requested by MPIC’s Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC).

    “Manila North Tollways Corp. issued a Notice of Arbitration and Statement of Claim [Notice] to the Republic of the Philippines,” MPIC’s disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) read.

    MPTC, which operates North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) though Manila North Tollways Corp. (MNTC), and Cavite Expressway (CAVITEX) through Cavitex Infrastructure Corp. (CIC), filed two toll adjustment petitions in 2012 and 2014.

    Had the requests been granted, a 15 percent increase in NLEX’s toll fees would have been implemented.

    MPTC also requested a 20 percent increase in toll fees for Cavitex.

    But TRB has not yet approved any of the toll rate adjustment petitions, which MPTC claims is inconsistent with the existing Supplemental Toll Operation Agreement (STOA).

    The toll operator is asking the government for P3 billion compensation due to TRB’s “inaction on lawful toll rate adjustments.”

    MPTC said that it even deferred its filing of the arbitration case to accommodate TRB’s request for a 90-day amicable settlement period.

    MPTC said that it was compelled to deliver the notice to reserve its rights under the STOA.

    Toll rates at NLEX, from Mindanao Avenue to Sta. Ines currently amount to P218 for Class 1 vehicles, P544 for Class 2 vehicles and P652 for Class 3 vehicles.

    CAVITEX toll rates are P24 for Class 1 vehicles, P48 for Class 2, and P72 for Class 3 vehicles.

    MPIC is expecting its toll operations unit to boost its revenue by 15 percent to P11.5 billion compared with its P10-billion revenue in 2015.

    The requested 15 percent toll rate adjustment was computed as part of the revenue projection.


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    1. Eau de Bingeaux on

      Government through the TRB wants the best of both worlds. They want a well-maintained expressway with low toll fees. Well, don’t we all? But the fact that government entered into a PPP with Metro Pacific shows that they are unable to sustain such a dream through subsidy. But now that it’s time to pay the piper, they welsh out. This disregard for the sanctity of contracts will not be lost on other potential investors who are already leery of our poor infrastructure, corruption and instability.