With the resurgence of local travel amid easing COVID-19 restrictions, toll revenues from the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) hit Php 3.26 billion in 2022, posting the highest collections since the road network was opened to the public in 2008.
Toll collections surged 45.92 percent as compared to the Php 2.23 billion recorded in 2021, and likewise surpassed the pre-pandemic level of Php 2.6 billion in 2019 by 25.38 percent.
The Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), the builder and owner of SCTEX, attributed its highest revenue record by far to the increase in the number of daily traffic after the lifting of pandemic-related border restrictions in 2021, and the uninterrupted serviceability of the major road network.
“As more people go on ‘revenge travel’ and more business operations return back to normal, we saw an increase in traffic volume in SCTEX. The BCDA is optimistic that this trend will be sustained as we continue to bounce back from the pandemic,” said Aileen R. Zosa, president and chief executive officer of BCDA.
In 2022, the average daily traffic in SCTEX exceeded pre-pandemic levels, reaching 70,894 as compared to 70,538 in 2019. This was also 25.78 percent higher than the 2021 average daily traffic of 56,362.
The increase in traffic and toll revenues from SCTEX’s operations in 2022 also resulted in the highest concession fees received by the BCDA from its operations and maintenance partner, NLEX Corp.
Last year, the BCDA’s share in SCTEX’s revenues stood at Php1.63 billion, 58.83 percent higher than the 2021 level of Php1.03 billion. Cumulatively, concession fees collected from NLEX Corp. reached Php7.8 billion since 2008.
The concession fees collected by BCDA enabled the government to cover its debt payments to the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which provided the financing support for the construction of the expressway amounting to JP¥ 59.04 billion.
The 93.7-km SCTEX serves as a vital link between the Clark Freeport and Special Economic Zone, the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, and the Central Techno Park in Tarlac. It has been instrumental in the transformation of Central Luzon into a world-class logistics and transhipment hub, opening doors to greater opportunities in investment, trade, and employment, and propelling economic growth in the region.