Price hikes barrage

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From toll fees to taxi fares, from cooking gas to bread, the cost of essential goods and services seem to go up at this early start of the year. As wages remain stagnant, more and more Filipinos are being pushed further to the thresholds of survival.

High prices on the road

Full-speed price increases welcomed the new year with the almost 300 percent toll hike at the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX). Those who use the entire length of SLEX from Alabang in Muntinlupa to Sto. Tomas in Batangas now have to pay P76 from the previous P22 for class 1 vehicles such as cars, P152 from P43 for class 2 vehicles such as buses and trucks, and P228 from P65 for class 3 vehicles such as trailers and large trucks.

South Luzon Tollways Corp. brags that such rates are discounted, as they considered to gradually implement the approved fare hikes until April. Toll rates for the entire SLEX will go up to P86 for class 1 vehicles, P172 for class 2, and P258 for class 3 by April.

Toll at the other tail of Metro Manila simultaneously went up. Those who use the North Luzon Expressway from Balintawak to Bocaue in Bulacan now pays P41 from P36 for class 1 vehicles, P102 from P91 for class 2, and P122 from P109 for class 3.

Taxi rate increases, though authorized to be effective only last  January 24, have been implemented earlier by some taxi operators. Flag down rate increased to P40 from the previous P30. The succeeding 300 meters is now charged P3.50 from P2.50.

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