Tolentino: MMDA not to blame for NLEX congestion

Bea Cupin

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Tolentino: MMDA not to blame for NLEX congestion
Cabinet Secretary Rene Almendras says a new 'realignment rerouting' in Caloocan city is causing the heavy NLEX traffic

MANILA, Philippines – What’s causing the heavier than usual traffic at the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX)?

It could be a lot of things, but Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman is sure of one thing – they are not to blame.

Watch a video of the traffic at NLEX below.


In an interview view ANC on Friday, September 5, Tolentino addressed the  statements made by the NLEX management through its Twitter account.

In a tweet and in reply to commuters, the NLEX said the MMDA’s “one-truck lane” policy was to blame for the traffic.

An apparently vexed Tolentino said it’s a major mix-up since the MMDA’s “one-truck lane” policy only applies to C5 road, which is far away from the problematic NLEX areas.

“Some are probably barking up the wrong tree,” he said.

The NLEX soon took down its previous tweets and told its followers to “disregard” it.

In a Palace news briefing, Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras, who heads the Cabinet Cluster on Port Congestion, said the real cause was a “realignment rerouting” in Caloocan city.

“Because of the certain adjustments that were done, some roads were suddenly closed, some truck routes were diverted. Hindi na pwedeng dumiretso, pinaliko rito (trucks couldn’t go straight ahead, they were told to turn here) and so on, and then they imposed a single lane,” said Almendras, referring to the Caloocan city rerouting.

Almendras added the 24-hour trade lane, which was been open for a while already, is also not the cause of the congrestion.

Tolentino, who is part of the Cabinet cluster, is already speaking to the Caloocan local government for the possible withdrawal of the new policy.

Blame game?

In the ANC interview, Tolentino said delays in the processing of trucks entering the port of Manila could also be behind traffic congestion. “The queue [for trucks] is that long. So when you reach C3 [road], there is a portion there that’s only good for one lane of vehicles,” he said.

Almendras, however, said the volume of trucks entering and leaving the Port of Manila has remained the same.

The MMDA isn’t the only government body being blamed for the NLEX traffic. In an earlier tweet, the NLEX said a “1 truck lane policy” in the city of Manila was to blame.

Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno, also in a tweet, pointed out, “Navotas and Caloocan also passed the same ordinance.” –

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Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.