The Shocking 300% Toll-Fee Hike

7 Mar

Everyone might have known this news due to the media attention it has been getting ever since. I’ve read a news (linked here) published just last January 2011 talking about the ghastly increase of the 300% toll hike at the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX). It might seem ‘okay’ to some because SLEX really needed some big improvement especially when compared to NLEX. As stated in the linked article, it’s not just the appalling toll-fee increase, but the project itself that’s really anomalous.

The article said that the initial amount needed for this project was PhP 4 billion last 2006. However, the cost drastically grew from the said amount to PhP 12.5 billion by last year. After reading the whole article, I really find it intriguing on how the project cost increased that much. Ernesto Francisco, an anti-corruption advocate and lawyer, filed a formal request for investigation with the Office of the Ombudsman to officially start speculating the matter. As he said, this drastic increase really is a mystery. The South Luzon Toll Corp., the SLEX investor Malaysian company MTD Capital Berhad, and the Toll Regulatory Board (since they allowed the toll fee increse) should all be compelled  to explain why the project cost ballooned to that extent. In defense, the South Luzon Toll Corp. and the Toll Regulatory Board initially explained the massive increase in project cost by saying that expenses increased in the course of the construction. However, more than their mere explanation, neither of the companies further (and thoroughly) gave stronger explanations for this.

I strongly believe that we must take some of our time to read the article. This might somehow help us, in the future who knows, regarding the problems [future] engineers like us might encounter in the long run. Since engineers will obviously become part of the said construction, we might as well take a look on the “business” side of it. This is for us to become informed of the consequences people might encounter when they step on someone just to benefit alone on something.

(Blog Entry #4)


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