Renaming of the NLEX to Cory Aquino Expressway: Adding insult to national injury

Yesterday’s world-changing breaking news was that Philippine Congress gave the green light to renaming the North Luzon Exrpessway (NLEX) the “President Corazon C. Aquino Expressway” (CAEX)…

“If favorably passed into law, it will constantly remind us of the noble deeds of the late President especially for the poor, and inspire our people to emulate her example of selfless service to the nation while her exceptional courage and leadership gave hope and united the Filipino people at a critical time in the country’s history,” said Nueva Ecija Rep. Magnolia Rosa Antonino.


It is interesting to note that The NLEX underwent a massive 385 million dollar rehabilitation under the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo through a public–private partnership (PPP) with the Manila North Tollways Corporation (MNTC). Part of the funding included 70 million dollars in loans from the Asian Development Bank. The ADB noted the success of the project in a report it issued in 2011 where it hailed the project as “a benchmark project for the toll road sector” which has “paved the way for further private sector participation.”

The ADB report further elaborates…

NLEX was the first expressway to be rehabilitated, operated, and maintained by a private company, with international partners, and in accordance with accepted international practice. The project has served as a model for others. Facilities and standards of NLEX are now on a par with expressways in other countries, including those in Europe and elsewhere in Asia. The design standards, facilities, financial structuring, and concession agreement serve as benchmarks for the other toll road projects in the Philippines.

Much of this work had happened under Arroyo’s watch. But unlike the current president, BS Aquino who often ends up with a foot in his mouth after most public addresses, Arroyo is a lot more circumspect with regard to her role in this and other success stories during her rule as she relates in her famous essay, It’s the economy student!

No need to rename roads and airports: Lee Kuan Yew's legacy is Singapore itself.
No need to rename roads and airports: Lee Kuan Yew’s legacy is Singapore itself.
Compare the sort of presumptuous pomposity on exhibit in the Philippines with the humble wishes of Singapore’s Elder Statesman Lee Kuan Yew who instructed the executors of his estate to have his home at 38 Oxley Road where he lived and raised his kids the whole time he ruled Singapore until his death “torn down upon his passing”.

On the matter of the sentiment surrounding a need to preserve LKY’s memory, PAP MP Alex Yam had this to say…

His legacy lies beyond the confines of 38, Oxley Road.

We find it in the streets of a peaceful, stable and united Singapore. His memory will be better served in our collective efforts to carry Singapore forward to the next 50 years”.

Indeed, one only needs to look around and up and down while standing on any Singapore street to appreciate LKY’s grand lifetime achievement. In the Philippines, on the other hand, there are only plenty names to “remind” people of supposedly “great” people. But tangible evidence of greatness in the society itself remains tragically thin after almost a century of “independence”.

[Photo of Bocaue Exit courtesy]


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53 Comments on "Renaming of the NLEX to Cory Aquino Expressway: Adding insult to national injury"

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They really want themselves installed as some Royal family. The reality is the current president best suited for court jester or town idiot.

Bing Bong
it is a curious matter as to WHY LKY wanted his home ton down. WHY? the naming of streets ,bldgs.,arena’s and other public spaces is a common enough occurence in many countries but the Philippines tends to over do it. A corporate sponsor that has to pay to have its name on the road every year would generat money to fund other projects. BUT those other projects would probably be a politicians olympic sized swimming pool and some cars for his family. So better to, uh…NOT ! BTW, I have been to Singapore and it is OK, nothing to marvel… Read more »

Geez. They still push through with this. If not the highlight of the public servants services involved putting another public servant to jail or defending them from graft and corruption charges, it is a joke proposal such as naming a road next to a clueless President. No wonder there’s less focus on the national interest. What a waste of so much time and tax paid salary to these lawmakers. Our government is more on self-service than public service!

Pilosopo Socrates
Since I am still in my 20s I asked my relatives if Cory had anything to do with NLEX, and the answer is none. Marcos was the brainchild of the NLEX or most infrastructures. And are they still using the same kind of infrastructure 30 years later? Back to the post, WHO’s bright idea is this?!? Let us not forget the same stunt was pulled when you want to change EDSA named after a famous Filipino Historian to Cory Aquino Avenue. I can understand naming a place to someone who had contributed significantly; like Bluementritt, Rizal, Quezon and Epifanio de… Read more »

It would have made sense to name the expressway after Cory if she had been runover and died on it. In she same tradition that NAIA was named after her husband because he got shot in it.


Can you force a private company to change the name of their own property? Seems a bit odd to me.


Renaming NLEX to another Aquino is like inviting another curse in the making, look what happened to MIA when they named it to Ninoy. Completely deteriorated for a decades and they still trying to put make up on but the smell of pagkabulok is all over the place.

The Aquinos are Credit Grabbers. They did not do anything good during their terms; but to demonize their political enemies; grab the Credit of their works; and made themselves heroes and saints. Corazon Aquino had no leadership. She had nothing to do with the poor. Her hacienda Luisita workers are paid an equivalent of ten (10) U.S. cents an hour. Corazon Aquino improved the lives of her fellow Oligarchs. And, installed back and continued the Feudalism in our country. This is to protect her Hacienda Luisita; which it continues to be protected by her son. To name an Expressway in… Read more »

Royalty is coming. Imagine a house of so called law making wasting their time on this when the Phils is a third world country with little to no infrastructure, come on boys there are more pressing things.

In any case my vote is for the Kris Aquino Annulment highway.


For crying out loud. Whoever is proposing this bill is inutile. Stop renaming national roads, goverment facilities and infrastructures and ither landmarks. It is a waste of time for lawmakers to even out time on this pointless shit. The NLEX name is better as it is. And yes it is a fact that Cory never had anything to do with it’s construction or development so please. NO.

Dodong Quimbo

Maybe we can change the name of tarlac to Kris Aquino Province…


Sorry but i just need to say this…that’s what we get for voting idiots to government!




So mababago na rin ang nlex sa pba, dati nlex road warrior ngyon caex road amazon. Joke joke Joke.

leo sagcal

Wala na po bang gagawin ang mambabatas kundi swelduhan lang sila para ipasa ang nasabing BATAS na baguhin ang NLEX at ipangalan sa yumaong pangulo? Do you think gaganda ang economy ng bansa natin kung magpapalit ng bagong pangalan? Wala na bang ibang alam ang ating gobyerno at mambabatas upang pasiglahin ang ating economiya? Nakakalungkot naman!



nick tambolero

Sumobra na ang pag hanga ng mga Aquino sa sarili nila at sa tingin nila ay mga diyos at diyosa na sila. Why not just rename the Philippines to Republic Of the Aquinos? Anyway dun din naman ang punta nito eh!


all those who are instruments in getting this approved should not be reinstalled in any government position….ever!


We seldom realize that our most private thoughts and emotions are not actually our own. For we think in terms of languages and images which we did not invent, but which were given to us by our society.

Juand Dela Cruz III

What’s wrong with that. Other countries do that all the time.