Motorists who ply the major toll roads in Luzon will soon have to bear the burden of an additional value-added tax (VAT) as the government starts imposing the said tax on toll fees beginning October 1, 2011. Users of the North Luzon Expressway, South Luzon Expressways (SLEX), Skyway, and the Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) will soon have to pay 12% more as announced by the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) on the scheduled implementation.

This announcement follows the July 19, 2011 Supreme Court (SC) decision voting unanimously in favor of the measure declaring it lawful and constitutional, having noted that the law allows for imposition of VAT on all services that charge a fee. This was in reaction to an earlier Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) filed last year calling the move unlawful and unconstitutional.

Early this month, former Nueva Ecija Rep. Renato Diaz and former Trade Assistant Secretary Aurora Timbol filed a motion for reconsideration of the latest SC decision claiming that the imposition is illegal as "toll fees" was not in the list of taxable services in the expanded VAT Law. They also stressed that prices of goods and services may be affected when the measure is implemented.

Based on conservative estimates for Class A motorists once the new measure is imposed, Balintawak to Sta. Ines NLEX users will be paying Php218 from Php195. For the SLEX users plying Alabang to Calamba will be paying P96 from P86; Skyway Ground Level, to Php119 from Php106; Skyway Elevated, to Php165 from Php147; and Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX), to Php272 from Php243.

*The official toll table will be released in due time before the implementation of the new tax measure.