Lawmaker calls for toll fee exemptions for COVID-19 response operations

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A LAWMAKER has called for the suspension of toll fee collection on operations related to the government’s response on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

“I am urgently requesting the management of NLEX (North Luzon Expressway), SLEX (South Luzon Expressway), and other connecting tollways for the immediate waiving of toll fees on operations related to our response on COVID-19, specifically on the delivery of foods and transport of medicines,” Iloilo Rep. Janette L. Garin said in a statement Saturday.

Under the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon, Ms. Garin said only government vehicles on official business are exempted from the payment of toll fees.

“Tandaan din po natin na (Let us remember that) samples from different hospitals need to be sent to RITM (Research Institute for Tropical Medicine) for validation. Bawat byahe po papuntang RITM ay umaabot ang toll sa higit-kumulang (Every trip to RITM costs them about) P350,” she said.

The former Health secretary noted that with the exemption from toll fees, “we are providing vigorous support for all humanitarian activities to uplift the morale of our kababayans (countrymen).”

In January, San Miguel Corp. (SMC) waived its toll fees at SLEX and the Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR) for vehicles involved in relief operations in areas affected by the Taal Volcano eruption. — Genshen L. Espedido