Poe seeks Senate probe into NLEX flooding issue

Senator Grace Poe has filed a resolution seeking an inquiry into the recent flooding that hit parts of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) that got motorists stuck in traffic for hours. 


In filing Senate Resolution No. 725, Poe said a Senate inquiry can help “determine whether proper due diligence was conducted in the operation and maintenance of the expressway.”


“The recent flood and traffic incident in the primary highways in Northern Luzon should not be taken lightly as its impact on the lives of the more than 350,000 daily average motorists traversing through it is immeasurable,” said Poe, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Public Services.


“A study shows that the disturbances in travel caused by flooding to Filipinos are extensive and have various effects depending on the characteristics of the traveler,” she added.


According to Poe, the Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) has complained about the negative impact to its members when the flooding at the NLEX occurred. 


The PCCI said the NLEX flooding entailed additional fuel and manpower costs, as well as spoilage of goods and even penalties from customers.


The unavailability of raw materials also affects sales and productivity.


The flooding due to typhoon "Egay" and the southwest monsoon caused water from the Pampanga River to flow into the expressway, particularly under Tulaoc Bridge in San Simon, Pampanga flooding the portion of NLEX.


Poe said it is necessary for concerned government agencies and the private operator of NLEX to address the worsening flooding and to implement effective long-term solutions.


She also noted that the NLEX has recently implemented a toll rate increase for highway users.


“NLEX is expected to continue its improvement and expansion projects in the expressway, especially with the increase in the toll fees,” Poe said.