Valenzuela mayor says no solutions presented from NLEX response over RFID mess
In this March 17, 2020, photo, the NLEX-Mindanao Ave. bound for Luzon is closed to motorists due to scarcity of thermal scanners.
The STAR/Michael Varcas

Valenzuela mayor says no solutions presented from NLEX response over RFID mess

( - December 6, 2020 - 10:28am

MANILA, Philippines — The mayor of Valenzuela has rejected a plea by the North Luzon Expressway Corp. for at least two weeks to resolve the heavy traffic over its implementation of the RFID toll system, saying its response fell short of providing concrete action.

NLEX Corp. is facing the threat of having its business permit revoked by the city government over what Mayor Rex Gatchalian said was its "miserable failure" to carry out the system that resulted in worsening traffic condition.

Gatchalian gave NLEX until Saturday, December 5 to come up with an action plan to resolve the mess. But responding to the local chief executive, the corporation's president and general manager Luigi Bautista asked the mayor for 15 days to respond to the concerns raised. 

He said teams had been deployed to render their findings, all while seeking to explain the RFID's full implementation had only begun this month.

"You had years to fix it, but did not," Gatchalian said in reply that he has publicized. "By saying that December 1 is the date of reckoning clearly is not factual. Matagal na po 'yang RFID niyo na sira, noon lang minority ng lanes niyo ang RFID kaya hindi lahat napapansin."

(The RFID had long been broken, only that it had minority of your lanes before hence it went unnoticed.)

The mayor said constituents could no longer wait for another 15 days with the situation "already taking its toll on the economic, mental and general wellbeing" on them.

NLEX officials have yet to respond to Gatchalian's remarks as of Sunday morning, December 6. But in a Twitter post, he has said that a public apology to the riding public should be in place, including a toll holiday while it fixes the RFID system.

"Walang singilan hanggang ma-deliver nila ang maayos na service sa mga toll plaza nila," Gatchalian said.

The transportation department in August made the use of RFID mandatory in a bid to lessen human contact and prevent the transmission of the coronavirus. 

Tollway officials have since pointed to the heavy traffic as birthing pains of a new system, putting to mind that not all vehicles have RFID stickers yet and its rollout came after a long weekend from the Bonifacio Day. 

"Ngayon na mandatory na sa lahat gamitin, lumalabas ang mga problema na matagal na dapat nasugpo kung binigyan niyo lang ng sapat na attention," Gatchalian added. 

(Now that it is required to use, problems that should have long been resolved had you only given it attention are coming out.) — Christian Deiparine with reports from Xave Gregorio

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