It's not just about finalizing the toll rates
The newly opened Skyway Stage 3 was scheduled to begin toll collection last February 1, 2021. However, that has since been pushed back, and the elevated expressway remains toll-free. According to the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB), Skyway Stage 3 will remain free until the toll rates are finalized.
The question most are wondering now is when will the toll rates be finalized, and when will Skyway Stage 3 start to collect toll? It seems there's more to it than simply deciding how much toll on the newly completed expressway should cost.
During a press briefing held by the Department of Transportation, DOTr Undersecretary for Finance Garry de Guzman said that before San Miguel Corporation (SMC) can start collecting toll at Skyway Stage 3, they must comply with all the requirements for a toll operators permit from the TRB. One of the requirements to attain a permit is a certification from an independent consultant indicating 95% substantial completion of the expressway.
At the moment, that requirement is still under evaluation since numerous ramps of Skyway Stage 3 are still under construction. But according to the DPWH website today, the status of Skyway 3 is at 91.99%.
Until the expressway is 95% complete, SMC will not be issued a toll operator's permit. Subsequently, the company will not be allowed to collect toll from motorists using the expressway, even if the toll rates are finalized.
The agency did not disclose whether the toll-rates for the Skyway Stage 3 have been finalized. Until SMC can meet the requirements and is issued a toll operator's permit, the elevated toll road will remain free to use.
When will the construction of the Skyway Stage 3 ramps be finished? According to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) website, the ramps are scheduled to be completed this 2021. So far 10 ramps are already open to traffic, and 13 more are undergoing construction.
For now, Skyway Stage 3 will continue to be toll-free for motorists.