Valenzuela gov’t to lift business permit suspension if NLEx removes barriers in toll plazas
MANILA, Philippines — The Valenzuela City government will lift the suspension on the business permit of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) Corp. if the toll operator will decide to remove all barriers in its toll plazas passing through the city, its mayor Rex Gatchalian said Monday.
Gatchalian said officials of the city government and NLEx Corp. are set to meet this Monday morning to discuss issues with the radio-frequency identification (RFID) system, and that the removal of the barriers is among the measures to be proposed by the local government unit to the toll operator.
“Siguro ang pinakamabilis na lang dito mamaya sabihin nila sa akin, ‘Sige mayor, barrier-less na tayo starting today,’ i-li-lift ko rin kaagad ‘yun,” he said in an interview with ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo.
(Maybe the easiest way here is if they say they will remove the barriers, I will lift the suspension order.)
According to Gatchalian, the two parties can just come up with a memorandum of agreement where the NLEx Corp. will provide a timeline on when they will address the consumer rights issues in its RFID system.
“Kung sinabi nila isang buwan, sige bigyan natin. Pero ‘yung immediate, ‘yung primordial, ‘yung pinaka-nauunsyami tayong lahat, ‘yun ‘yung traffic. Kung sinabi nilang barrier-less tayo mamaya, mamaya rin ibigay natin sa kanila ‘yung business permit nila pabalik,” the mayor said.
(If they say they will address consumer rights issues within one month, we will allow them to do so. But the immediate and primordial problem, the issue that bothers us the most is the traffic. If they say that the toll plazas will be barrier-less, we will immediately lift the suspension of their business permit.)
The Valenzuela City government suspended on December 7 the business permit of NLEx Corp. due to the heavy traffic that its cashless toll collection was creating in the locality, effectively causing a toll holiday.
However, Gatchalian noted that RFID sensors in some lanes that were not turned off since last week still managed to charge toll fees from other vehicles.
“So kahit nakakadaan ‘yung mga kotse nakakasingil pa rin naman sila, eh bakit pa tayo maglalagay ng barrier?” he pointed out, noting that other countries also do not have barriers in toll plazas.
(So as the cars were going through the tolls, they were still being charged; so why would we still put barriers?)
He added that the traffic situation near NLEx toll gates in the city also became better when the barriers were lifted since the toll holiday started.
“Kumbaga, nailabas na natin sila sa impyerno, ayaw ko na ibalik sila ulit sa impyerno kaya ang sinasabi ko sa NLEx, buksan nyo ‘yung barrier, maningil na lang kayo nang walang barrier,” he said.
(In other words, we were able to free the riding public from hell and I don’t want them to return in that situation. That’s why I am saying to NLEx Corp., open up the barriers and collect toll fees without them.)
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