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Int’l tribunal junks MPTC plaint

TRB is not liable for unreasonable delay on the petitions for toll rate adjustment



An international court had rejected the petitions of the toll road units of conglomerate Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) regarding claims over the alleged delay in the approval of increases in fees that allegedly cost the road operators nearly P10 billion.

NLEX Corp. and CAVITEX Infrastructure Corporation, which are units of MPTC led by tycoon Manuel V. Pangilinan, received a notice of the rulings of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) against the government, through the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB).

In the NLEX case, while the Tribunal ruled that it has jurisdiction over the claim, it held that under the factual circumstances of the case, the TRB is not liable for “unreasonable delay on the petitions for toll rate adjustment.”

TRB can review pleas
NLEX filed the plea with The Hague tribunal in 2012 and 2014.

According to Metro Pacific, the rejection of the claim was “without prejudice to further review by the TRB of the said petitions.”

The tribunal noted that the TRB already decided on the petitions when it issued a resolution in 2018 approving an increase in the toll rates of NLEX, which have been implemented since March 2019.

Based on the foregoing facts, the tribunal also denied NLEX Corporation’s claim for damages.

PCA also ruled that each party will bear the costs of arbitration in equal shares and will bear their own costs of legal representation and assistance.

In the case of Cavitex, the Tribunal issued its final termination order, that considered Cavitex Infrastructure Corporation’s and Philippine Reclamation Authority’s earlier withdrawal of both their claims for compensation.

The claims arose from dismissal of their petitions for rate adjustment filed in 2011 and 2014.
“The order thus terminated the Cavitex arbitration case. In the meantime, the said petitions are now being processed by the TRB,” according to Metro Pacific.