Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian on Saturday expressed his frustration at North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) management over allegedly faulty RFID system that he said has further slowed traffic down in the city.
Gatchalian posted on Twitter a series of drone photos of Mindanao Avenue and Segment 9 showing a long line of vehicles stalled heading to the NLEX toll gates.
"This is highway robbery . . . prepaid ang RFID kinuha niyo na pera namin pero walang kapalit na maayos, safe, mabilis na serbisyo . . . The Valenzuela Driving - Riding Public deserves better!!!" Gatchalian said.
(We got prepaid RFIDs, but did not get a safe and efficient service in return.)
"Our city drones took these pictures all morning long. Segment 9 and Mindanao Ave., now @NLEXexpressways and Mr. Ignacio tell me walang problema. Dapat Highway po yan hindi garahe . . . daily ganyan kami. Kaya lahat tuloy dumadagsa sa mac highway kaya heavy volume na din doon."
(Now NLEX and NLEX Corp. COO Raul Ignacio tell me there's no problem. That's a highway not a garage . . . This has gone on everyday. This is why we get flooded by cars along McArthur Highway where traffic is heavy, too.)
Meanwhile, Gatchalian reiterated he would suspend the NLEX business permit if the company does not fix the issues connected to the RFID installation drive, which has snarled traffic in the area.
"No matter where I look at it -- public safety, general welfare, consumer rights -- bagsak sila sa tatlong 'yon," he said in an interview with ABS-CBN News.
"Kaya banta namin, kapag hindi nila papatunayan kung bakit hindi dapat sila bawian ng business permit at pangalawa… Kung hindi kami satisfied we will withdraw their business permit. Suspend, pero sana huwag umabot na ma-revoke pa."
As of posting time, NLEX management did not answer calls by ABS-CBN News seeking its side on the issue, but in a text message it said a statement is being prepared to answer Gatchalian's pronouncement.
In a letter dated December 3, Gatchalian told Engr. Abraham Sales, the executive director of the Toll Regulatory Board, alleged that the “abysmal” RFID system contributed to the “chaos and exacerbated” the already bad traffic in the city.
NLEX cannot collect toll without a permit, Gatchalian also warned in a tweet.
“[R]emember ang isang company na walang business permit or suspended ang business permit ibig sabihin hindi [puwede] magnegosyo (mag-collect) sa city jurisdiction . . . makakadaan pero walang collection dapat,” he said.
(A company without a business permit or has a suspended business permit could not collect in the city jurisdiction. Vehicles could pass (the NLEX) but there would be no collection of fees.)