SMC boss explains why lowering toll fees for motorbikes isn’t possible for now

“Ang ating toll rates dapat nag-increase na noon pang 2009”
by Aris Ilagan for TopBikes.ph | May 24, 2021
PHOTO: Aris Ilagan

One reason San Miguel boss Ramon S. Ang is smiling nowadays is the unprecedented performance of BMW Motorrad Philippines’ sales despite the pandemic. In an interview with Summit Media editors last week, Ang says he’s aware of the phenomenal growth of the local motorcycle community in recent years.

Since he is also big boss of SMC Tollways, we took the opportunity to ask him about the possibility of lowering the toll fees for motorcycles as they are smaller and lighter, and have just two wheels compared with regular cars under the Class A category.

His answer: “Hindi natin magawang i-adjust ang toll rates para sa motorsiklo, kasi ang ating toll rates dapat nag-increase na noon pang 2009.”

Up to now, he adds, the SMC-owned expressways have not yet been allowed by the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) to increase toll charges, which has brought the amount of uncollected toll-fee hike to some P17 billion.

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According to Ang, the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) had won an arbitration case with the TRB regarding toll-fee increases, which was implemented recently. “Dinala ng NLEX sa arbitration, dinemanda ang TRB. At nang nanalo [ang] NLEX, nagtaas sila ng [toll] rate,” Ang explained.

As the man behind BMW Motorrad in the country, Ang himself is a motorcycle enthusiast. He has a sizeable collection of vintage pieces under his roof. In fact, the 67-year-old businessman claims he takes to the racetrack every now and then just to enjoy the freedom of riding.

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PHOTO: Aris Ilagan
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