Baguio council backs House bills on termination of toll fees collection

BAGUIO CITY -– The Baguio City Council passed a resolution supporting and endorsing the immediate passage of House Bill (HB) 4570 and 4571 or the “Act terminating the collection of toll fees along the portion of the Benguet road (Kennon road) from Klondyke spring to Camp 6 and along Halsema Highway.

The resolution states that the local government unit (LGU) of Baguio City supports the immediate passage of both bills to solve the demand of road users against paying multiple fees, traffic jams, road accidents, increment of selling or ceiling price of products and a potential source of corruption among those involved in the collection of toll fees.

It is explained that the proposed bills will address the imposition of double fees charged to private motorists and will likewise protect the interest of small businesses, legitimate wholesalers, retailers, travelers and farmers from the indigenous peoples from the different parts of the Cordillera who are almost hopeless due to the fees collected along the two roads.

HB 4570 and 4571 are now pending deliberations before the relevant committees of the House of Representatives.

Earlier, the Provincial Board of Benguet passed a similar resolution supporting the passage of the same bills pending at the House of Representatives.

The Benguet resolution provides that since both highways are already developed, there is no need to collect toll fees for its maintenance.

The resolution added it is unfortunate that it is only in Benguet among all the provinces in the country that toll fees are being collected from motorists travelling along Kennon road and the Halsema highway or the Baguio-Bontoc Road, apart from fees they must pay when passing through the toll gates established by the government for the collection of the required toll fees.

Copies of the approved resolution will be forwarded to the regional and central offices of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) which had been tasked to administer the toll gates and the collection of toll fees, the House and Senate committees on public works for their information, guidance and appropriate action. Jojo Lamaria/