Motorists using the Paniqui to Moncada segment and the Moncada to Carmen segment of the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) will have to pay the required toll rates starting June 13 this year.
Diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC), through its subsidiary Private Infra Dev. Corp. Inc. (PIDC), will start implementing toll rates for Segment 4 from Paniqui to Moncada and Segment 5 from Moncada to Carmen next month.
“In accordance with the Toll Concession Agreement by and among the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) and Private Infra Dev Corp. the following pre-accepted toll rates for Segment 4 which is the Paniqui to Moncada and Segment 5 which is the Moncada to Carmen, Section 1 inclusive of VAT, are hereby approved for implementation starting June 13, 2014 at 12:01 am.,” the Toll Regulatory Board said in a notice of Toll Rate Implementation published on Friday.
TPLEX operator PIDC opened a 27-kilometer stretch of TPLEX from Paniqui, Tarlac to Carmen in Pangasinan in April this year.
Completion of the 88.85-kilometer TPLEX toll road is expected by 2015. The toll fee from Tarlac to Carmen is P170 for Class-1 cars and P425 for Class-2 vehicles.
A 23-kilometer stretch of TPLEX is currently operational. The company is working on the 27-kilometer stretch from Paniqui to Moncada in Tarlac then to Carmen in Pangasinan, including construction of the 950-meter Agno viaduct.
The toll road project is being undertaken through a build-operate-transfer (BOT) scheme by an all-Filipino consortium which includes DMCI Holdings Inc.
“In terms of construction, we are ahead of schedule. We are on track to delivering the entire length of TPLEX as early as 2015,” Ramon Ang, president and chief operating officer of SMC, said in a statement.
In October, PIDC opened the project’s 17-kilometer Phase 1A from Tarlac City to Victoria, Pura, then Gerona, for free, to the public. The usual two-hour travel time from Tarlac to Carmen would be reduced to only 30 minutes.
The company earlier said it was waiting for the completion of the acquisition of right-of-way for a 13.72-kilometer portion from the north bank of the Agno River up to Urdaneta. It also said it was confident of completing the section up to Urdaneta as early as December 2014.
The company said that the remaining 25.83-kilometer section from Urdaneta to Rosario, La Union will be completed the following year, a full three years ahead of the original 2018 target.
TPLEX, one of several infrastructure projects in SMC’s portfolio and its first greenfield tollway project, is seen as a vital road project in Luzon, connecting the Central and Northern Luzon provinces to Manila and beyond through the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) and the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX).
From end to end, the TPLEX will traverse 17 towns and two cities (Tarlac and Urdaneta) across four provinces: Tarlac, Pangasinan, La Union and Nueva Ecija.
Originally designed as a two-lane road, SMC decided to upgrade the project to four lanes to ensure road safety and in anticipation of future traffic growth. It can be expanded up to eight lanes in the future.
Once complete, the TPLEX will cut travel time from Tarlac to La Union to only one hour.