Toll-Fee Cuts for SLEX Users Are a No-Go Despite Continued Traffic Hell

"The traffic has always been there," says Ramon Ang.

(SPOT.ph) The South Luzon Expressway is in the running to take EDSA's title as "Metro Manila's Best Parking Lot" and it looks like relief is, unfortunately, not in sight. While "SLEX" is trending on Twitter (again) on November 4, the proposed toll-fee cut from Susana Heights to the Sucat exit—which was pegged at P44 from P49—has been rejected by the San Miguel Corporation, the parent company of the South Luzon Tollway Corporation.

The Toll Regulatory Board's proposal to lower the fees was "unwarranted," said Ramon Ang, president of San Miguel Corporation (SMC), in a report by CNN Philippines. According to him, "the traffic has always been there."  Plus, lowering toll fees "will make the problem worse. More vehicles will flood the expressways, and nobody will be happy because of the increasing congestion."

On the business side of it, Ang added that "suspending toll fees will violate our concession agreement, and worse, damage our standing with the banks [...] If banks see that government can just stop honoring concession contracts, they will also stop lending to local companies. Investor confidence will go down." 

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Traffic on the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) has been worse than usual since September 25 when parts of the toll road near the Alabang Interchange was closed off to make way for construction of the Skyway. Ang has asked for forgiveness for the "inconvenience" caused by the elevated tollway's construction, so it seems now all we can do is sit tight until the project's deadline in December 2020. 

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