The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has assured the motoring public that a toll fee increase is very unlikely during the pandemic. However, they also said that if a toll fee is approved, its implementation will have to be postponed until after.

Transportation secretary, Arthur Tugade, told this to reporters during the signing of the Supplemental Toll Operations Agreement (STOA) for the Pasig River Expressway (PAREX) between the DOTr and the San Miguel Corporation. The government may approve a toll fee increase but such an increase will have to wait for implementation at a later date.

“Are we expecting increases at this time? Kung ako ‘ho ang masusunod, maaaring apruban ‘yung increase, pero ‘wag i-implement ngayon. Pagka’t kailangang balansihin ‘yung pangangailangan ng publiko sa pangangailangan ng mga negosyante. (If I were to decide, a toll fee increase can be approved, but its implementation will be delayed. We need to balance both the public’s and business's welfare.),” said Sec. Tugade.

Nakikita natin ‘yung pangangailangan ng operators ng increases na ‘yan nang sa ganon, ‘yung mga funding requirements nila ay maasikaso. Pero kailangan din ‘ho ng tulong sa sambayanan, lalo’t higit tayo ay nasa pandemyang nangyayari ngayon. (We understand that toll operators may need to increase toll fees so that they can sustain their toll operations. But, the people also need our help, especially now that we’re still in the middle of the pandemic.),” added Sec. Tugade.

PAREX is a 19.4-kilometer, 6-lane elevated expressway to be built along the banks of the Pasig River. PAREX will connect the Radial Road-10 in Manila, EDSA, and C5, and will decongest vehicular traffic volume in Rizal, Cainta, and Marikina. It is also set to provide faster and alternative access to Makati, Ortigas, and the Bonifacio Global City.