Malacañang said Monday it would not meddle in an ongoing row between North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) Corp. and the Valenzuela City over the radio frequency identification (RFID) issue.
According to a report on GMA News TV's Balitanghali, heard nationwide, Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian, during a dialogue with NLEx management, stressed that RFID glitches caused serious traffic jams and troubled Valenzuela residents.
He said NLEX Corporation was inefficient during their shift to a digital cashless system.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the issue on the NLEX tollway’s cashless payment system had caused a monstrous traffic jam along the North Expressway going to Valenzuela city, saying it would let the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) handle the issue.
“The Department of Interior and Local government already has already entered the fray and urged local governments and expressway operators to fix this issue,” he said.
Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian suspended the business permit of NLEX Corp. after severe traffic buildup allegedly due to the faulty implementation of the toll regulator’s RFID payment system.
With the suspension order in place, toll fees in the city's borders are indefinitely waived until the "abysmal" state of the RFID system is fixed.
Vehicles can simply pass through the toll gates in Barangay Karuhatan, Lawang Bato, Paso de Blas and Ugong for now without charges.
The Palace official said the incident could turn off future investors in the Northern part of Luzon because of the issue, although he noted that local governments are entitled to issue or suspend business permits within their jurisdictions.
Gatchalian noted that after he suspended the business permit of the NLEX Corporation, the traffic jams were cleared.
Meanwhile, NLEX said it was planning to implement a barrier up scheme during times of heavy traffic.