NLEX vows to resolve RFID mess ASAP after business permit suspension

Robie de Guzman   •   December 8, 2020   •   312

MANILA, Philippines – The Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC), the operator of North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) Corp., on Tuesday vowed to implement measures to immediately resolve issues connected to the RFID installation following the suspension of its business permit by the Valenzuela City government.

MPTC chief communications officer Atty. Romulo Quimbo admitted there were problems in the implementation of the cashless collection system and that they are working on improving their service.

“We actually acknowledge na meron tayong mga technical problems in the implementation of RFID 100. We intend to address this technical problems as soon as possible,” he said.

“Gusto namin humingi ng pang-unawa sa mga taga-Valenzuela na medyo naka-experience ng pagsisikip ng trapiko especially along Mc Arthur Highway Karuhatan and dun po sa Mindanao Avenue toll plaza,” he added.

On Monday afternoon, Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian officially served the city government’s order to suspend the business permit of NLEX due to the RFID mess that caused heavy traffic in the city.

Gatchalian served the suspension order in the Mindanao Avenue Toll Plaza after NLEX failed to meet the 5 p.m. deadline to resolve issues hounding the cashless payment system. 

The mayor, however, clarified that they are not suspending any type of NLEX operations as he has no authority to do so, stressing that they only suspended the tollways’ collecting power.

He also said that toll gate barriers should remain raised, allowing motorists to pass toll plazas within Valenzuela City without having to pay any fee.

“Number one, suspended na ‘yung business permit nila. Number two, itataas nila yung mga barrier dahil tuloy ang kanilang operations,” he said.

“Hindi naman natin sinu-suspend ang operations ng NLEX kasi wala akong kapangyarihan nun. Binabawi lang natin ang business permit nila,” he added.

Gatchalian said the duration of the suspension of NLEX business permit would depend on how soon the toll operator will address issues regarding the RFID installation. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Joan Nano)

Toll regulators to impose ‘three-strike policy’ for RFID violators

Marje Pelayo   •   February 3, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) will implement a ‘three-strike’ policy at toll plazas and apprehend motorists with insufficient load in their RFID stickers.

This is prompted by several reports that some motorists are abusing the ‘no apprehension policy’ for vehicles without RFID and continuously ignoring the cashless payment system.

Because of this, all motorists who are repeatedly violating the RFID system by passing through RFID lanes with insufficient load balance will be apprehended the third time they commit the offense.

LGUs conduct dry run of COVID-19 vaccination rollout

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 26, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The local governments of Quezon City and Valenzuela City have conducted dry run activities for their COVID-19 vaccination rollout.

In Valenzuela City, around 40 residents participated in the dry run, where they went through body temperature checks and disinfection before entering the vaccination site.

They also went through registration and validation before counseling. Counseling covered discussion on the importance of vaccination and its possible side effects. Participants then proceeded to the screening area before vaccination to verify if their health is capable of taking in the vaccine.

According to Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian, the dry run is needed to ensure residents are prepared in receiving the vaccines and health protocols are implemented.

Valenzuela City also targets the vaccination rollout to begin in July where 17 vaccination sites will be used.

Meanwhile, the Quezon City Health Department held a demonstration on the vaccination process which includes presenting QCitizen IDs, counseling, and screening. -AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

DPWH targets to open first 5-km of NLEX connector before end of 2021

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 20, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) announced on Wednesday (January 20) that it targets to open the 5-kilometer portion of the NLEX Connector by the end of 2021.

The first 5 kilometers of the NLEX Connector links Caloocan Interchange, C3 and España Boulevard in Manila.

“Spanning a total of eight kilometers, the DPWH said the full NLEX Connector will be an all vehicle class elevated expressway that will traverse the C3 Road in Caloocan City pass through Abad Santos, Blumentritt, Dimasalang, España, Magsaysay Boulevard and eventually connect with the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Sta. Mesa in Manila,” the DPWH said.

DPWH Secretary Mark Villar said the project aims to ease traffic along EDSA.

The full NLEX Connector that spans 8 kilometers will feature four toll plazas and interchanges from C3 and España.

It is expected to reduce travel time between NLEX and South Luzon Expressway from two hours to just 20 minutes.

The 23-billion project is also seen to provide better access to Manila Ports (North Harbor) and airports (NAIA and Clark).

Kapag natapos itong connector lalong luluwag ang EDSA kasi lahat ng trucks na galing sa port magkakaroon ng option na mag NLEX or mag SLEX (As soon as the connector is completed, EDSA will be decongested as all trucks from the port will have the option to use either the NLEX or SLEX),” he said.

Villar said as they strive to complete the first 5 kilometers, they will also target to complete the NLEX Connector up to Sta. Mesa, Manila before the term of President Rodrigo Duterte ends. —AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

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