2 Cordillera solons file bills to scrap toll fees

>> Thursday, August 4, 2022

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- Two Cordillera congressmen filed separate bills  to stop to collection of toll fees along Kennon Road, from Klondykes Spring to Camp 6, Tuba and along  Halsema highway, particularly at Acop, Tublay, Benguet.
    House Bill (HB) 1047 authored by Rep. Eric Yap and HB 1048 authored by Mountain Province Rep. Maximo Dalog Jr. said the Baguio-Bontoc-Halsema and Kennon highways were national toll roads of three tollgates in Camp 1, Camp 6 along Kennon Road and Acop, Tublay, Benguet along Halsema highway.
    The two lawmakers said collection of toll fees at Camp 6 was implemented by under Executive Order 34, as amended, issued by former president Ramon Magsaysay on June 1, 1954.
    With passage of Republic Act 8794 on June 27, 2000 which imposed motor vehicle users charge to all motor vehicle owners, the congressmen said motor vehicle users charges are collected and deposited on special trust accounts in the national treasury and that trust accounts include Special Road Support Fund and the Special Local Road Fund used by the Dept. of Public Works and Highways for maintenance and improvement of primary and secondary roads nationwide.
    With toll fees collected by virtue of EO 34 and motor vehicle users charge under RA 8794, both transmitted to the national treasury, Yap and Dalog said users of Camp 6 toll road are technically being charged twice or even more when passing through toll roads in Baguio and Benguet.
    The solons said motor vehicle owners are mostly farmers from Benguet and Mountain Province transporting agricultural produce to the La Trinidad vegetable trading post or directly to Metro Manila via said toll roads.
    Farmers are reportedly left with no recourse but to increase farm prices of vegetables and pass on the expense to retailers and consumers due to toll fees.
    Dalog and Yap urged immediate passage of the proposed bill considering  it is ordinary Filipino people who suffer from unnecessary charges passed on to them by  farmers unnecessarily charged by  government.
    The proposed bills were referred by the House of Representatives to the appropriate committee for study and recommendation on whether it will be passed by the Lower House.
    Once the bills are approved in the House, the same will be transmitted to the Senate for passage of its counterpart measure before sending to the Office of the President for signature to become a law.


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