SUBIC BAY FREEPORT – To ease the traffic going to the Subic Bay Freeport this Holy Week, the Manila North Tollways Corporation (MNTC) will provide a dedicated lane for motorists bound to this free port beginning Holy Wednesday, April 4, up to Holy Thursday, April 5.
The dedicated Subic lane will begin at the Balintawak toll plaza and the Mindanao Avenue link of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) toll plaza in Dau, Tipo Exit, and the Tipo Expressway toll plaza.
Under this scheme, motorists would only make a one-time payment of P408 at the Balintawak toll plaza, which would cover the toll fees for the rest of the trip. They will be given stubs which will be collected at each successive tollway exit.
However, the dedicated Subic lane will only be good for a one-way trip to the Subic Bay Freeport. Normal toll rates will apply for trips going back to Manila.
According to Raul Marcelo, deputy administrator for business and tourism of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), this scheme initiated by the MNTC will save motorists’ time.
“When you pay P408 at the dedicated Subic lane in Balintawak, you get your stubs, and when you exit at Dau, you simply hand back the stub. So there’s no need for you to pay, there’s no need for you to wait for change, and there’s no need for you to get your receipt. You just hand over the stub. This would save you a lot of time,” Marcelo elaborated.
Marcelo also said that the unified toll fee will help ease traffic congestion at Subic, which has long been recognized as a tourist destination. “The MNTC is now focused on the problem regarding motor vehicle traffic to Subic… meaning they know that Subic is a major destination especially during holidays and long weekends. The dedicated lane in Balintawak is ample proof that Subic, as a summer getaway, is really a certified hit,” he added.
Marcelo also said that although the unified toll fee plan for Subic is a new development, he is hoping that this would be made a permanent arrangement. “I’ll definitely be pushing for this, especially when we have major events in Subic,” he stressed.
He pointed out that last year, close to 30,000 motor vehicles came to Subic via the SCTEX, bringing in some 120,000 tourists during the Holy Week.