Toll fee increase in NLEX – a reflection

Toll fee increase in NLEX – a reflection

Let me share my thoughts.

Firstly, there is a clear case of a failed application of “regulatory governance” in the First NLEX


The Government shelled out P500 million for right of way, it stands as a guarantor, it never received supposed-to-be annual concession fee paid by the operator of NLEX.

PD 1112 contemplates a unique form of ‘regulatory regime” that provides for “loosely supervised and regulated collection of toll fees” to think that the owner of the operator was a Marcos crony.

The private sector on the other is allowed to recover all its costs and likewise earn profits. It is simply not true that the Government spends not a single centavo to the project, for it does.

When the First NLEX was turned over to the next operator after the first supposed-to-be 30 year concession period, the Second NLEX literally did not make use of any equipment, structures of infrastructures, systems, or facilities from the First NLEX.

What does that mean?

Everything about the First NLEX has been of no use whatsoever. That in more likelihood means that as soon as the Second NLEX is turned over to the government, government comes home with an empty bag.

Secondly, how much must an 84 kilometer of road cost?

If base cost is P21 billion, we see that on a per kilometer basis, a road must cost a whooping P250 million.

Other countries do have toll expressways that are as long as over 1,000 kilometers.

If base cost is literally back to “zero-peso value”, what the First NLEX tells us is that someone, a private sector, at the end of the concession period, had his cake and ate it too.

No particular administration, benefited even just to the minimum, from the first 30-year cycle.

Thirdly, an undergraduate thesis from the UP School of Economics was able to compute for the probable cost of “ceasing tolls” at the SLEX and Christina Condez says that to do will be detrimental to all concerned.


1. Congestion
2. Maintenance cost
3. Environmental cost

NLEX today earns a gross income of P12 million daily from all vehicle classes (1,2,3)

What does it mean?

Weekly it earns P84 M. Monthly it earns P336 M. Yearly it rakes P4.380 Billion

How much in 30 years minus 5 years of construction time?

Our simple imagination will guide us that here we found someone who ate in our restaurant and order a dish of oyster – not just hoping – but really finding a pearl to pay for his meal.

Finally, are all concerned better or worse off with NLEX?

In the realm of public policy, I contend that it is the former. This tentative view opens the door for further study and investigation.

Thus, come 1 January 2011, some 156,729 vehicles will enter the toll booths daily and willing enough to pay under the newly-adjusted user’s fees.

In the end, to complain is to be blind. Let us not make a mountain of a molehill.