CAVITEX Infrastructure Corp. (CIC) said on Wednesday that it is deferring the collection of higher tolls at the Manila-Cavite Toll Expressway (CAVITEX) Parañaque Toll Plaza to May 22 to allow more public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers and operators to register for its toll reprieve program.

“Starting May 22, CIC, the concessionaire for CAVITEX, along with joint venture partner Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA), is set to implement new toll rates in CAVITEX Parañaque Toll Plaza. The supposed implementation at Parañaque Toll Plaza last May 12 was deferred,” the company said in a statement.

The toll reprieve program allows road users to continue to enjoy the old toll rates of P25 for Class 1 (cars and SUVs) and P50 for Class 2 vehicles (minivans and buses) through a rebate system, it added.

The program will run for 90 days starting on the first day of the implementation of the higher toll rates.

“Target enrollees to the program are all drivers and operators of the 1,420 public utility vehicles that ply CAVITEX,” the CIC said.

It noted that the new rates are inclusive of the 2011 and 2014 periodic toll petitions, and add-on toll petition for enhancement works carried out on the expressway.

“Thus, starting May 22, motorists plying CAVITEX R-1 segment (Cavitex Longos Bacoor to MIA Exit v.v.) will be charged the following VAT-Inclusive amounts: P33.00 for Class 1 vehicles,  P67.00 for Class 2, and P100 for Class 3 (large trucks and trailers),” the company said.

NLEX Corp. also announced recently that the Toll Regulatory Board approved its application to raise tolls by P2 in the open system and P0.34 per kilometer in the closed system.

A flat rate is charged on users of the NLEX open system (Balintawak to Marilao), while the closed system (Bocaue to Mabalacat) applies per-kilometer rates.

Starting May 12, motorists on NLEX’s open system will pay an additional P2 for Class 1 vehicles, P6 for Class 2, and P8 for Class 3. Current rates are P60, P149, and P179 for the three classes, respectively.

Closed system users between Metro Manila and Mabalacat will pay an additional P27 for Class 1, P69 for Class 2, and P82 for Class 3 vehicles.

CIC and NLEX Corp. are controlled by Metro Pacific Tollways Corp., a unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC).

MPIC is one of three Philippine units of Hong Kong’s 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. — Arjay L. Balinbin