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NLEX Connector tolls expected by next month

NLEX Corp., a unit of Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC), is hoping for the release of the approved toll matrix for the NLEX Connector Road by next month, after the road was offered for use free of charge over the last three months.

Asked when the company expects the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) to release the matrix, NLEX Corp. President and General Manager Jose Luigi L. Bautista said: “We hope probably next month because (road use) has been free for three months.”

Mr. Bautista did not say what impact free use of the road has had on financial performance.

The company had asked the TRB for a toll of P86 for road users between Caloocan and España. On average, the connector road serves 5,500 motorists daily, well below the projected traffic of 12,000 motorists a day.

NLEX Connector Road is an 8-kilometer expressway linking the Caloocan Interchange on Circumferential Road 3 to Magsaysay Interchange at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines.

In March, the company opened the first five-kilometer segment of the toll road from Caloocan Interchange to España.

Mr. Bautista said the company hopes to open the second segment of the connector road by the end of August, against the previous target of June.

“I think it will be open by the end of August. Substantial completion will be at the end of July, so hopefully we can open it a month after,” he said.

The proposed toll fee for the entire NLEX Connector Road will be P125 for class 1 vehicles or regular cars and SUVs, Mr. Bautista said. 

MPTC is the tollways unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corp., one of three key Philippine units of Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co. Ltd., the others being Philex Mining Corp. and PLDT, Inc.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Justine Irish D. Tabile

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