Home » Customs & Trade » Higher hauling charges inevitable — truckers' groups

TRUCKING operators said the public should expect higher haulage fees after the Supreme Court last week lifted a temporary restraining order (TRO) on the 250% increase in toll fees at the South Luzon Expressway (SLEx).

"Once it’s implemented, the increase will be immediately reflected on our bill to clients," officials of the Confederation of Truckers Association of the Philippines and the Integrated North Harbor Truckers Association told PortCalls.

"There is no way we can defer the increase as we have no capability to shoulder the added cost," they added. "Unless another TRO is issued, increases in our bills are inevitable."

Aside from lifting the TRO it issued in August, the SC last week upheld the legality of three decrees related to the toll fee hike. One of these is that Congress may delegate its authority to issue franchises to administrative agencies, citing the case of the Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board, Civil Aeronautics Board, National Telecommunications Commission and the Philippine Ports Authority, which all have the authority to issue franchises.

In a decision penned by Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco Jr, the High Court also upheld the legality of the Supplemental Toll Operation Agreement between the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) and SLEx operator South Luzon Tollway Corp (SLTC).

The SC also upheld sections of a presidential decree which vested the TRB with the power to grant a qualified person or entity with authority to construct, maintain, and operate a toll facility and to issue a corresponding toll operating permit.

SLTC has yet to determine effectivity of the rate hike originally scheduled for application last August.

Once implemented Class 1 vehicles passing through the SLEx will pay P77 from the current P21; Class 2 vehicles, P155 from P43; and Class 3 vehicles (heavy and multi-wheeler trucks), P232 from P65.

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