Sabado, Oktubre 23, 2010

Militant Transport Group Slams SC Decision on Toll Hikes

October 22, 2010
Press Release

Militant Transport Group
Slams SC Decision on Toll Hikes

Militant transport group Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Transportasyon (PMT) slammed the Supreme Court’s (SC) decision to uphold the legality of agreements between the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) and tollways operators.

“The recent SC decision allows the unconscionable increase of toll fees not only in the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) but also other tollways in the country. The decision of the justices was in complete disregard of the adverse effects of such hikes to the Filipino people.” PMT said in a press statement.

PMT President Victor Gonzales said that “the decision affirmed the constitutionality of the “highway robbery” being done to the Filipino people by foreign capitalists and their accomplices in government. They had ruled on the legitimacy of guarantee and toll price-fixing provisions in BOT contracts.”

Government has had the policy of guaranteeing “no-loss” and handsome investment returns for foreign investors in the country.

“But this fight is far from over.” Gonzales declared.

PMT spokesperson Larry Pascua said that “if the Aquino administration takes its cue from the SC and decides to push through with the plan to increase toll prices in the SLEX by two hundred fifty percent (250%), we can assure them that they will face a tough challenge from transport workers. Such move only benefits capitalists, foreign at that, and unduly burdens our already suffering people. We are prepared to go all-out just to block such plans.”

“Aquino had promised a review of onerous contracts entered into by past administrations but, after more than a hundred days in office, nothing has been done. His campaign promise of change was a charade. He is no different and may even be worse.” Pascua added.

Class 1 motorists will have to shell out P77 from the current P22, class 2 P155 from P43 and class 3 P232 from P65 once rate increases are implemented.

“Increase in toll fees will surely bring about hikes in prices of basic and other commodities as transport costs will definitely increase. Now who do we think will carry this burden? Not these foreign investors or people in government who have enough money to absorb such increases. Not local capitalists who will simply pass it on to consumers. Who else, but us workers whose income or salaries are not even enough to address our basic needs” Pascua explained.

Local governments, small businessmen and other militant groups have expressed opposition to the planned increase of toll fares in the SLEX.