BENGUET Governor Cresencio Pacalso is backing bills filed by Mountain Province Congressman Maximo Dalog abolishing toll fees along Kennon Road and the Baguio-Bontoc Halsema National Highway.

The abolition of toll fees along the two highways, accordingly will support the best interest of the people of Benguet and Mt. Province, particularly in the reduction of transportation cost of vegetables or other farm yields, thus, increasing socio-economic growth of the region.

Pacalso said he already sought advice of his legal office adding he is also supporting Resolution No. 17-007 passed by the provincial board.

“We asked the legal office for their legal opinion and relayed they are recommending and in favor of the removal of toll gates which were there for a very long time,” Pacalso added.

The governor reiterated charging fees to motorists coming from Halsema or Kennon Road seems to endure double taxation.

Pacalso however is uncertain if the bill will be approved immediately but remains hopeful.

“The congress will still have dialogues on this. But what is clear is that, if the public hearing is done and unanimously carries a motion that the toll gates will be removed, the congressmen will push this. That’s what we will await then,” Pacalso added.

Benguet is the only province where national road toll fees are being collected.

Pending before the 17th Congress of the House of Representatives, Dalog introduced House Bill Nos. 4570 entitled, “An act terminating the collection of toll fees along the portion of the Benguet Road (Kennon Road) from Klondykes Spring to Camp Six, repealing for the purpose Executive Order No.34, s. of 1954, as amended”; and 3571 entitled, “An act abolishing the Baguio Bontoc Halsema Highway national road toll and terminating the collection fees thereto” in the 17th Congress, House of Representatives.

Dalog observed the toll gates are being maintained the national government and not the local government units thus collection of the toll gates are not being used for maintenance of the roads but are remitted to the national treasury and motorists are being charged twice for using the roads because of RA No. 8794 which imposes Motor Vehicle User’s Charge (MVUC) or the Road User’s Tax.