MANILA, Philippines — The Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) has approved provisional toll rates for San Miguel Corp. (SMC)’s 18-kilometer Skyway Stage 3 project.

TRB spokesman Julius Corpus said the approved provisional toll rate for Phase 1, or from Buendia to Sta. Mesa, is P105, while for Phase 2, or from Ramon Magsaysay to Balintawak, the toll is P129.

For end to end, or from Buendia to NLEX, the approved provisional toll rate is P264.

Corpus said the rates are temporary and may still change depending on circumstances or new developments that may occur in the coming days.

He said that SMC also could not immediately start collecting these rates.

“It does not necessarily mean that they have been given the approval on the rates that they can automatically collect,” Corpus said.

“These may be the initial provisional rates that they may be authorized to collect once they are given notice to start collection. Until then, they still cannot collect,” he said.

Corpus said the approved provisional rates are a little lower than the rates which SMC has requested.

“There’s a different process in the approval of rates. This is provisional approval of rates. The process is we will do TRB resolution then we will give them (SMC) an order to publish it once a week for three consecutive weeks and then they will have to post a surety bond,” he said.

“And then there will be separate requirements for them to be given an authority to collect,” Corpus said.

The TRB is composed of the Department of Transportation, Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Finance, National Economic and Development Authority and a representative from the private sector.

SMC president Ramon Ang earlier said Skyway 3’s losses have been piling up given the delay in the start of toll collection on the elevated expressway, which partially opened in late December and was officially opened last January.

SMC was previously eyeing to start collecting toll in the new expressway last February after making access free for a month.

At a cost of P10 billion per year to operate the toll road, Ang said it is expected to generate a significantly lower revenue of P4 billion annually based on its proposed toll rate and the existing 60,000 vehicles per day volume.

The proposed toll for Skyway 3 was earlier reported to be from P110 to P274.