NLEX urged to keep barriers up

THE MAYOR of Valenzuela City on Monday asked NLEX Corp. to make up its mind about his proposal to keep barriers up at its toll plazas to ease traffic congestion.

During a televised meeting between the company and city officials, city Mayor Rex T. Gatchalian said the toll operator should follow what is being done in neighboring countries such as Malaysia, where motorists still get charged even without toll fences.

NLEX Corp. President J. Luigi Bautista said the company would first consult regulators about keeping the toll fences up. “The open barrier is our direction,” he said. “But for us to get there, we will have to fix our infrastructure first. We will need coordination with the regulatory agency.”

On Dec. 7, Valenzuela City suspended NLEX Corp.’s business permits for some toll plaza, saying NLEX Corp. should address issues on consumer, traffic and radio-frequency identification sticker installation and reloading. — Arjay L. Balinbin

Housing offered to Pangasinan farmers

THE AGRARIAN Reform department on Monday said it had chosen Pangasinan as the pilot site for its housing project for farmers.

In a statement, Agrarian Reform Secretary John R. Castriciones said a 26,111-square meter lot in the village of Carayungan in Umingan, Pangasinan would be the site of the pilot that will start on Dec. 15.

Each house will cost P300,000 and will have duplex-type units with a 36-square meter floor area, toilet, electrical and water facilities, tiled floors and painted interior and exterior walls.

Agrarian reform beneficiaries may avail themselves of the housing program, which should boost farmers’ morale and result in better crop yields, income and quality of life, Mr. Castriciones said.

Aside from Umingan in Pangasinan, the project would be replicated in Nueva Vizcaya, Nueva Ecija, Samar, Cebu, Camariñes Norte and Davao del Sur, he said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave