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Cavitex, PRA seek TRB’s approval to collect add-on toll for R-1 Expressway

THE Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) said the Cavitex Infrastructure Corp. (CIC) and the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) have both filed a petition “for the approval of add-on agreed toll rate with application for provisional relief” for the Segment 1 (R-1 Expressway) Enhancement of the Manila-Cavite Toll Expressway Project.

TRB Executive Director Abraham P. Sales said in a Jan. 11 notice that “any interested expressway user” can file a “petition to review” within 30 days from the date of its first publication.

In its petition, CIC, the joint venture partner of PRA for the Manila-Cavite Toll Expressway Project, said they are entitled to recover the new investment for the enhancement of R-1 Expressway by way of an “add-on toll rate” as authorized by the Toll Operation Agreement (TOA) executed in 1996.

The enhancement project has two phases covering the construction of an additional lane, about 3.50 kilometers, from R-1 Toll Plaza to MIA Road Intersection; a 1.70-kilometer lane from R-1 Toll Plaza to Las Piñas Bridge; a southbound flyover for the Marina Left Turning Facility; widening from 2×3 to 2×4 lanes for the three mainline bridges along Segment 1; an additional lane for the remaining R-1 mainline carriageway from Las Piñas Bridge to Zapote Interchange; and upgrading of about 300 meters of the existing Pacific Avenue, from Segment 1 to Macapagal Boulevard.

The construction cost for Phase 1 is P481.25 million while for Phase 2 is P424.08 million.

The investment is sought to be recovered through a total add-on agreed toll rate of P0.45 per kilometer or P0.20 per kilometer for the completion of Phase 1 and P0.25 per kilometer for the completion of Phase 2, the CIC said.

The TRB approved on July 15, 2019, the implementation of an add-on toll rate for Phase 1.

Hence, the company currently collects adjusted fees of P25, P50, and P75 for Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3 vehicles, respectively, for the use of R-1 Expressway.

The company said the second phase of the enhancement project was issued a certificate of substantial completion on Nov. 5 last year.

The CIC also noted that the regulator is mandated to issue a notice to start toll collection, which is a requirement before it can operate the completed Phase 2 of the enhancement project.

“CIC most respectfully seeks the honorable board’s immediate approval to implement the add-on toll rate…, which will result in a total investment recovery of P0.45 per kilometer,” the company said.

CIC is under Metro Pacific Tollways Corp., the tollway unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC). MPIC is one of three Philippine units of Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co. Ltd., others being PLDT, Inc. and Philex Mining Corp.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has an interest in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group. — Arjay L. Balinbin

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