Speaker Lord Allan Velasco commended Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian Tuesday “for his courage and resolve” to address the heavy traffic congestion caused by the implementation of the cashless toll system at the North Luzon Expressway.
Gatchalian suspended the business permit of NLEX Corp. when it failed to heed the demands of the city government to act on the glitches of the Radio Frequency Identification system that triggered the massive traffic gridlock in various toll booth areas.
This prompted the firm to take immediate steps to resolve the issue until Gatchalian finally agreed to conditionally reinstate the business permit.
“We commend Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian for his courage and resolve to end the massive gridlock on toll booths at the North Luzon Expressway due to glitches on the Radio Frequency Identification system used by the toll operator,” said Velasco in a press statement.
Velasco noted Gatchalian’s efforts have been cited by “no less than President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.”
“We hope they will find a win-win solution in order to avoid the traffic situation and confusion brought about by efforts to shift to cashless transactions at our tollways to prevent the possible spread of the COVID-19 virus thru face-to-face transactions,” said the House leader.
He added: “The interests of the motorists should always be the paramount consideration moving forward.”
Due to Gatchalian’s decisive move to force NLEX Corp. to act on public complaints against the traffic gridlock, the firm took steps to put an end to the toll holiday that it experienced when the business permit was suspended.
Among others, the NLEX agreed to raise the barriers in all RFID lanes in Valenzuela City toll plazas from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily and that toll fees will be collected during specified hours only. From 10 p.m. to 4:59 a.m., the barriers will be lowered on RFID lanes for safety reasons.