Good idea or disaster in the making?

A senator wants to “exempt all vehicles from paying toll fees on certain holidays.” That was the proposal of Senate President, Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, filed as Senate Bill 2220 to amend Section 6 of a 1977 Presidential Decree 1112 by then president, Ferdinand Marcos. Section 6 of PD 1112 stipulates that “Government vehicles on official business shall be exempted from the payment of toll fees under such procedures and circumstances as will be promulgated by the Board.” 

If SB 2220 is passed into law, that means all vehicles, including tollways-legal motorcycles, will be exempt from paying the corresponding toll fees during certain holidays throughout the year and could mean that there will be no more queuing at the toll gates. These holidays, however, were not defined under the proposed law.

Senator files a bill to make toll fees free - on holidays image

The bill's explanatory note, according to Senate President Tito Sotto was based on a study conducted by the Boston Consulting Group between September to October 2017. It says that, on average, commuters spend more than an hour in the congested streets of Metro Manila daily and the economy is losing up to 3.5B daily on missed opportunities, fuel and other related costs because of the heavy traffic. This could also balloon up to 5.4B by 2035 if the government can't find a solution to this problem.

Senator files a bill to make toll fees free - on holidays image

The Senate President also added that traveling toll-free on certain holidays could also be the solution to the gridlock that Filipinos experience whenever there's a holiday exodus out of Metro Manila. After all, the heavy pile-up of vehicles usually occur at the payment points of the tollways.