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In March 1977, Presidential Decree (PD) No.1112 was issued creating the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB), whose primary function is to supervise, monitor and regulate the construction, operation and maintenance of toll facilities as well as the rates that may be charged therefrom. The Board provides the balance between the pursuance of the investor’s reasonable rate of return and the safeguard of the toll-users’ interest. It serves to attract private investors to participate in financing costly infrastructure projects of the Government. In that same year, Presidential Decree No. 1113 was issued, granting the Philippine National Construction Corporation (PNCC, formerly Construction Development Corporation of the Philippines), the franchise to operate, construct and maintain toll facilities in the North and South Luzon Tollways (NLT/SLT).

A Toll Operation Agreement (TOA) was thereafter concluded between the TRB and PNCC, defining the terms of supervision of TRB over PNCC’s operation of the tollways. The original composition of the Board as provided by PD 1112 includes the Deputy Director General for Programs and Projects of the NEDA as Chairman, the Undersecretary of the Public Highways and the Undersecretary of Finance as members. In 1979, the Toll Regulatory Board was transferred as one of the attached agencies of the newly-created Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC). PD No. 1649, was then issued amending the composition of the Board, with the Minister of Transportation and Communications as Chairman, the Deputy Director-General for programs and Projects of NEDA, Deputy Minister of Public Highways, Deputy Minister of Finance, a representative from the private sector, as members. However, it was only in 1986 that this transfer from the NEDA to DOTC was fully implemented. The year 1986 likewise saw the emergence of a new TRB administration. The Board created a Regular Working Staff, with an Executive Director as Head, in order to assist the Board in the implementation and enforcement of its policies, programs, guidelines and regulations.

In 1988, TRB prepared for the first time its budgetary requirements for inclusion in the General Appropriations Act of 1989. The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) approved the staffing pattern of seventeen (17) personnel for the TRB, for both its technical and administrative divisions. On July 9, 1990, upon action of congress, President Aquino approved Republic Act No. 6957, other wise known as the “Private Financing Act”, which the TRB to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) with the Secretary of Public Works and Highways as Chairman. The transfer of TRB to the DPWH changed the staffing pattern and the budgetary appropriations of the TRB. The Engineering Supervision Staff (ESS), formerly under PMO-URPO of the DPWH (and only detailed to the TRB), was transferred to the TRB as one of its Divisions. The transfer also included the inclusion of its budgetary allocation to the total budget of the TRB.

Thus, for the very first time, the 1991 General Appropriations Act gave recognition to the TRB as a regular government agency and most importantly , it provided for thirty-five (35) permanent positions for the agency’s plantilla of personnel. TRB’s transfer also charged the direction of the studies being conducted by the Staff. Instead of the usual pre-feasibility studies planned for the year, several specialized studies were undertaken per the direction of the Board. The newly ESS functions as the technical arm of TRB, in charge of the supervision and monitoring of all the extension/expansion/improvement projects in the NLT/SLT and other tollway related projects. In addition to this, position upgrading of four (4) TRB personnel were approved by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

On January 26, 1999, President Joseph Ejercito Estada ordered the attachment of TRB to the Office of the President with the Secretary of the DPWH as the Chairman of the Board.

TRB was transferred from the Office of the President to the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), with the Secretary of the DOTC as its Chairman by virtue of Executive Order No. 133 issued by President Gloria M. Arroyo on October 10, 2002.

On July 30, 2007, President Arroyo ordered the transfer of TRB from the DOTC to the DPWH.  However, on December 19th of the same year, President Arroyo transferred back TRB to the DOTC.