Home » Customs & Trade » Cost cutting at SLEx may be more costly than actual toll hike – PISFA

INTERNATIONAL freight forwarders are worried that cost-cutting measures proposed by South Luzon Expresssway (SLEx) operator South Luzon Expressway Corp (SLTC) may jack up logistics costs even more than if toll fees were increased.

SLTC is eyeing the adoption of such measures as light reduction at the full 27-kilometer stretch of SLEX, cut in security personnel and retrenchment of personnel such as toll collectors and other traffic officers, in case its petition for a toll fee increase is not granted soon.

Philippine International Seafreight Forwarders Association (PISFA) president Nelson Mendoza told PortCalls that logistics costs will increase either way. "Both measures have expected multiplier effects but we are more worried over the cost-reduction measures than the toll fee increase."

PISFA and its industry partners the Confederation of Truckers Association of the Philippines and Port Users Confederation note that fewer lights at the expressway will lead to a higher incidence of hijacking, pilferage and accidents. The cost of such "when summed up will be double — if not triple — the proposed rate increase," Mendoza said.

It may be recalled that SLTC proposed a 250% hike in toll fees at SLEx to recoup investments in upgrading the highway but the increase was delayed after the Supreme Court (SC) issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) on the hike, noting its effect on transportation cost.

A few weeks ago, the SC lifted the TRO, allowing for the toll increase but this was again derailed by motions for reconsideration filed before the High Court.

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