Toll booths in Valenzuela City shut down

The City of Valenzuela has suspended the NLEX Corporation’s business permits and has declared a “toll holiday”. This is in response to the massive traffic jams that have spilled over onto some of Valenzuela’s major thoroughfares as a result of the public's rush to have RFID stickers installed on their vehicles. The mayor demanded NLEX to form a solid action plan to solve the traffic crisis. The toll operator requested for a 15-day extension, which the mayor rejected, resulting in the suspension of the business permit.

That said, NLEX entry through Valenzuela City – Mindanao Avenue, Paso de Blas, and Karuhatan – will be free until a resolution is agreed upon by both the city government and NLEX Corporation.

Under city mayor Rex Gatchalian’s executive orders 316, 317, 318, 319, 320, 321 and 322 Series of 2020; as well as City Ordinance No. 827 Series of 2020 or the Uninterrupted Public Utilities and Services Ordinance, the city effectively canceled the NLEX Corporation’s business permits and declared a toll holiday on all of NLEX’ toll collection booths within the city limits.

This started when motorists caused massive traffic jams that have spilled over on some of Valenzuela’s major thoroughfares in the rush to have NLEX's Easytip RFID stickers installed in their vehicles for cashless transactions.

Because the traffic inhibited business and travel of the city's residents, mayor Gatchalian has demanded a solid action plan from NLEX to resolve the crisis. NLEX, on the other hand, responded to the demands by asking for a 15-day leeway for them to resolve the crisis. Valenzuela City responded, saying that the RFID toll collection system, even before the DOTr’s recent order to go fully cashless, has already been in operation for years and “saying that Dec. 1 [2020] is the date of reckoning clearly is not factual.”

The city gave NLEX until 5:00 PM on December 7, 2020 to come up with solution to the issues encountered by motorists with their RFID system, as well as issue a public apology. That public apology and solution never came. Come deadline time, Mayor Gatchalian, issued the suspension order and went to the toll booths himself to shut them down.

For now, it appears that NLEX can't charge you the 54 peso entry fee in Valenzuela. However, the suspension of NLEX's business permit in Valenzuela City does not cover other toll plazas in other cities or municipalities like NLEX Balintawak, which is in Quezon City. NLEX entry through other cities is still business as usual and motorists may be charged toll.