The Department of Finance (DOF) said the government has requested tollway concessionaires and operators to waive the toll fee increase for trucks carrying agricultural goods.

Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said that exempting trucks is one of the government's steps to address the high costs of fresh produce, fruits, and vegetables, particularly rice.

“Our recommendation is cooperation from tollway concessionaires and operators, [but] this is only for the increase in toll, and this is not mandatory, we are just pleading,” Diokno told reporters during his Chat with SBED last Friday, Sept. 9.

To recall, the Manila-Cavite Expressway (Cavitex) raised its toll fees in August, while the North Luzon Expressway Corporation (NLEX) started collecting higher toll rates on June 15.

Meanwhile, Finance Undersecretary Zeno Ronald R. Abenoja has stated that the private concessionaires have already given their consent to the government's proposal, even at this early stage.

“They just trying to define the guidelines on how to identify these delivery trucks,” Abenoja said.

The Toll Regulatory Board (TRB), responsible for issuing the guidelines, held a meeting with the concessionaires and operators two to three weeks ago, Abenoja said.

In July, a group of truckers staged a protest along a street in Manila against the toll increase on NLEX.

The truckers denounced the toll hikes as "unjustifiable and unfair," citing the worsening conditions they faced due to inflation.

They asserted that the increases imposed by the TRB were in direct contradiction to the government's directive to transportation agencies to help alleviate costs for logistics workers.

They urged the board to immediately revoke the toll increases.

Source: Manila Bulletin (