Muntinlupa seeks share from toll fees

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The Muntinlupa City Council has proposed an ordinance asking the Skyway O&M Corp. (SOMCO) and the Philippine National Construction (PNCC) to pay the city government a share of the profits generated from the Skyway System’s operation and South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) passing through Muntinlupa.

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Mayor Jaime Fresnedi said the ordinance requires PNCC-SOMCO to pay the necessary fees for their toll facilities located within the city’s jurisdiction.

“We’re not asking for an additional burden to motorists using the Skyway System. What we are trying to do is to provide for the welfare of our constituents, and we believe there are enough legal bases for us to act on this,” the mayor explained.

The South Metro Manila Skyway Project is operated by SOMCO, the entity designated by the Toll Regulatory Board to operate the Skyway. It spans Buendia in the north and Alabang in the South.

A four-kilometer stretch of the Skyway runs along Sucat, Buli, Cupang, and Alabang, while part of the SLEX runs from Sucat all the way to the provincial boundary at Barangay Tunasan for about 10 kilometers.

Should the proposed ordinance be approved and implemented, taxes and fees covering this span of road could provide Muntinlupa a much-needed boost in its coffers, which have been largely depleted because of apparent fiscal mismanagement by the previous administration.

Muntinlupa faces a staggering debt of more than P 1.5 billion acquired by the previous regime, and is expected to pay the amount until 2019.

A recent inventory of the city hospital revealed more than P1.3-million worth of expenses in ghost deliveries, and P9 million of unaccounted income, making it more urgent for Fresnedi and his administration to find funds to meet the basic needs of his constituents.

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