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NLEX Accepts #BarriersUp Scheme, Resumes Business Ops in Valenzuela City
NLEX Accepts #BarriersUp Scheme, Resumes Business Ops in Valenzuela City
A “true” expressway: The Mindanao Avenue Toll Plaza in Brgy. Ugong, Valenzuela City looks unrecognizable during the #TollHoliday. There have been massive traffic build-ups in the toll plaza due to NLEX’ faulty RFID system, affecting Valenzuela’s inner roads causing heavy traffic in almost the entire City.
Photo by: Public Information Office
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December 16 marks the day where the City Government of Valenzuela releases Executive Order No. 2020-338, Series of 2020, conditionally lifting the suspension of the business permit of North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) Corporation in Valenzuela City.  Toll holiday will also end at 12:01 pm today, December 16.

Valenzuela City and NLEX Corporation reach a mutually acceptable agreement today following discussions to improve the traffic situation along NLEX toll plazas in the jurisdiction of Valenzuela.

Under the agreement, NLEX Corporation shall adopt a #BarriersUp arrangement from 5:00 am to 10:00 pm in the City. After regular evaluations and assessments by both parties, the agreement also aims to adopt an end goal of having a 24-hour barrier up arrangement in the future which can put a long term solution to avoid heavy traffic build-up in NLEX toll plazas in Valenzuela City.

NLEX Corporation can now charge toll fees in Valenzuela City even when toll barriers are up from 5:00 am to 10:00 pm in all RFID lanes. It can only lower down its toll barriers in all RFID lanes from 10:01 pm to 4:59 am for safety reasons. This move is in accordance with the proposed immediate solution of the corporation during the open solutions meeting with the City Government of Valenzuela last December 14, where a selective and timed barrier up procedure was presented.

Apart from this, cash lanes will be reinstated in strategic locations in Valenzuela City, and NLEX Corporation has committed to upgrade its RFID system and account management to address consumer complaints which is set to be completed by January 30, 2021.

NLEX Corporation also executes its Affidavit of Undertaking today, containing the commitment of the corporation to prevent further violation of the conditions of the Mayor's permit, waiver and undertaking in the Business Permit and other local and national laws, rules and regulations. Any violation on this will result to the immediate suspension/closure of the business permit again without further notice or issuance from the City Government.

To sustain the plan for improvement of the RFID system, both parties will also create a technical working group who will continuously meet to innovate traffic and account management initiatives.

It was remembered that last December 07, Valenzuela City suspended the business permit of NLEX Corporation under the premises of disregard of general welfare, public safety, and consumer rights. The suspension resulted to a #TollHoliday in six (6) Valenzuela-based NLEX toll plazas, evidently improving the traffic situation in the City.

“Clearly, itong [this] toll holiday had an effect on the traffic flow and I guess the overall well-being ng mga mamamayan ng [of the citizenry of] Valenzuela City,” Mayor REX said during the open solutions meeting.

The #BarriersUp arrangement has been strongly proposed by Valenzuela City Mayor REX Gatchalian in which NLEX Corporation, led by President and General Manager J. Luigi Bautista, will review the proposed solutions and discuss on other matters raised to reach an agreement for the conditional lifting of the suspension of their business permit which was concluded this morning.

NLEX Corporation earlier stated that the readability rate of their RFIDs is at 98%, with only a fraction of 2% encountered for reading problems caused by RFID sticker issues and noise interference. Consumer rights issues rose as some motorists are still being charged during the toll holiday in the Valenzuela toll plazas, meaning the RFID stickers can still be scanned in the toll plazas even when barriers are up.

Kahit nkaataas na yung mga toll barriers, eh nakakasingil naman pala… Walang barrier pero nakakasingil (Even when the toll barriers are up, they can still charge for fees… There are no barriers but they can still charge). Which makes you want to think, why are the barriers even there to begin with?” Mayor REX stated.

The City Government of Valenzuela and NLEX Corporation collectively aim to create a credible technical working group for traffic validation and assessment purposes, hoping to reach an end goal of a 24-hour barrier up arrangement and to finally put sustainable solutions for the Filipino driving public.

2020-12-16 | By: Angelica R. Porciuncula / Public Information Office

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