Wrong on so many levels: Castelo cautions MMDA on ‘traffic congestion fee’

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Quezon City Rep. Winston “Winnie” Castelo on Thursday admonished the Metro Manila Development Authority to go slow on its plan to impose a “traffic congestion fee” in hopes of easing traffic in the metropolis.

Castelo said the proposed “road pricing scheme” needs serious and in-depth study.

“As a matter of principle, the legality of imposing additional fees for the use of certain roads may be questionable as it can constitute double taxation — maybe even triple taxation,” Castelo, chair of the House committee on Metro Manila Development said.

He noted that the money the government used to build roads already came from taxpayers.

On top of that vehicle owners are also charged road with a user’s tax under Republic Act (RA) 8794, which Congress passed in 2000.
The fee is collected each time a vehicle is registered or a registration is renewed with the Land Transportation Office (LTO).

“Imposing another fee may not only be a big burden, but may be excessive and inequitable taxation especially since the government is also planning to impose higher excise taxes on fuel,” Castelo said.

He pointed out that the MMDA might not have the authority to impose such fee as it might require Congressional legislation.