Despite severe operational challenges, NLEX and SCTEX have remained partially open to facilitate unhampered movement of essential goods and transit of medical workers amid the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) against COVID-19.
“As a key public service company, we are called to ensure service continuity. The expressways are key components of Luzon’s supply chain and we have adjusted our daily operations following the guidelines of the Inter Agency Task Force (IATF),” said NLEX Corporation president and general manager J. Luigi L. Bautista.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has recently emphasized that, “movement of all food and non-food cargoes within, to, and from Luzon shall be unhampered.”
The Confederation of Truckers Association of the Philippines (CTAP) and Santiago Cargo Movers Inc. welcomed the tollway company’s move to prioritize the trucking sector to support the continued movement of essential cargoes to their destinations throughout Luzon.
“Malaking bagay na tuloy pa rin ang serbisyo ng NLEX kahit may Enhanced Community Quarantine. Mabilis ang daloy ng kargamento, at dahil dito, tuloy-tuloy ang biyahe namin. Importante rin ‘yong binibigay nilang daily updates tungkol sa operations nila dahil nakakapag-plano kami bago lumabas ang trucks namin,” CTAP president Mario Yap said.
NLEX Corporation daily operations are coordinated with the Joint Task Force CV Shield led by the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Department of Health, and other government agencies, including prioritizing cargo trucks delivering basic commodities and the DOTR free bus rides service for health workers.
Santiago Cargo Movers also affirmed, “the NLEX is crucial to allowing movement of people and basic commodities during this enhanced community quarantine. We all recognize the efforts of their frontliners and patrol crews despite the day-to-day challenges. Their regular online traffic updates are really helpful for the trucking sector under this Luzon-wide lockdown.”
A netizen also posted, “Salute to all patrols, leaders, and employees of NLEX who continue to provide their services during this tough time,” she said.
NLEX emergency response teams, patrol crews, and security teams are all in place and necessary safety measures such as the disinfection of workstations, strictly requiring personal protective equipment (PPE) and social distancing for their frontliners are observed. Bautista added, “NLEX Corporation remains committed to supporting the program to contain the spread of COVID-19.”