By Kathleen G. Sabado

Yes, you read that right!  While reading through his resume, one can’t help but be in deep awe!  Mr. Avelino H. Salazar, fondly called as “Sir Ave”, has a colorful and remarkable career wherein one could only deduce that we have a gem in our midst. 

A graduate of BS Engineering from the University of East in Caloocan City in 1999, he became a registered Electronics and Communications Engineer in 2000.  Prior to joining Tollways Management Corporation (TMC) now NLEX Corporation, he worked at Equitable PCI Bank and ROHM Apollo Semiconductor Philippines in Cavite as Network and Electrical Engineer, respectively.

In 2004, he joined TMC as a Systems Engineer, went on to become a Systems Supervisor in 2007. He was promoted to Assistant Manager in 2010.  In 2016, he finally held the reins of the Toll Engineering section for NLEX and SCTEX as its Manager.  From March 2020 up to the present, he is the Senior Manager of the Maintenance and Support Department of the Technology Division. 

In his 19 years of stay with us, he has earned extensive knowledge and training in the Toll and Traffic Systems Equipment, Central Core Systems equipment, and Maintenance and Management Systems and Compliance.  His significant contributions are the reduction of charged-farthest complaints, EMCY transactions, cross-reading incidents, improvement of leakage recovery for barrier-up lanes, successful deployment of automatic license plate reader (ALPR) to reduce the revenue leakage, Neology antenna testing and recommendation, RFID stickers testing and recommendation, CTCS application, and DB upgrade and replacement, continuous enhancement of RFID read rate, assignment as division OIC/representatives for stakeholder engagements, maintaining TRB/BCDA and BIR compliance.

He also played a big part in the 2022 budget optimization saving through the implementation of the in-house repair shop and proper utilization of budget for his department under OPEx and CAPEx amounting to Php800M. 

His biggest challenge was the Valenzuela RFID issue, which he managed thru the barriers-up scheme and installation of ALPRs.  This incident has become the springboard for the ‘barrierless’ toll operations and open road tolling (ORT) that is well under study and hopefully in full swing by 2025.

In his years of stay of Sir Ave with us, he has given a long and lasting impression to his colleagues that has affected their careers in one way or another.  No wonder in a recent Viber video call, Sir Ave joyously disclosed that his former subordinates have been promoted to supervisors and assistant managers.  He believes that skills should also be shared with others for them to progress in their careers.  He encourages growth and career advancement like he did over the years. 

Here are some comments we solicited from his co-workers detailing how they view Sir Ave’s leadership and why Sir Ave could be so grabee!

Sir Ave is a dependable team player, approachable leader, and expert in his field of work. We have know each other since 2005 (TMC days). I have been assisting him as our Department Head for a year now since my transfer. He has taught me a lot of new skills and knowledge. Because of him, I am able to learn more ways to improve my working experience and hurdle new challenges.

Aissa Barrientos, Secretary, Maintenance & Support

(L-R) Sir Ave with Ralph Pamintuan, Pedro Millor Jr. and Almarc Nunag

I have been working with Sir Ave for six years now. I remember the time when CTCS servers’ resources were already insufficient to handle the volume of processes and transactions. Sir Ave supported us all the way and the team was inspired to put extra efforts to manage and resolve the CTCS overall status. He empowered the team and delegated tasks that develop trust and allowed us to focus on important matters. Because of him, I gained trust and self-confidence. Now, I am confident of my decisions.

Almar Nunag, Senior Specialist, Central Core Systems Maintenance

What I like with Sir Ave as our leader is that he is so easy to communicate with. He expressed his trust in us during the NLEX and SCTEX merging. Because of him I am inspired to be more responsible and hardworking.

Pedro Millor, Specialist, Toll and Traffic Systems Maintenance

Sir Ave appointed me as a Team Leader of the Heavy CM Group which handled major works and focused on the enhancement of the RFID System. He has an open-door policy wherein you can approach him anytime and he is always ready to listen to you right away. I appreciate his being a supportive leader even though I already transferred to other gorups. He regularly acknowledges and recognizes the excellent work of his staff that makes hime a good motivator. Because of him, I have become a more confident, courageous, and sure of myself in front of others.

Benigno Dayao, Specialist, Project Delivery/Innovation & Enhancement

Months ago, I misunderstood one of my colleague’s instructions which led to a critical situation. I asked for Sir Ave’s advice since I cannot think straight at that time. I appreciate how he handled that situation and how he explained to me the options on how to resolve the problem I created. He knows what is the best for the group and he works tirelessly to achieve it. Because of him, I became more passionate about my goals and objectives. I am inspired to do better for myself and for out team.

Claire Mendoza, Senior Associate, Toll and Traffic Systems Maintenance

I have been with the department for 16 years now. Sir Ave always pushes me to be the best of who I can be. He put his trust in me and my team and I can’t forget when he assigned me as team leader of our section during the system migration to implement the new TCS that is now being used to help our customers have a better and safet journey.

Ariel Tumalad, Senior Specialist, Toll and Traffic Systems Maintenance

On a personal note, he starts and ends his day with prayers.  He accomplishes daily tasks with the help of his subordinates as he recognizes their capabilities thru the transfer of knowledge and delegation.  He strongly believes that for a person to grow, his skills and knowledge must be shared, passed on, and transcend with others.  Sir Ave hails from Lias, Marilao, Bulacan.  He is happily married to Ma’am Marnelli Salazar and they have two doting children, Angelo and Alaiah.  When not at work, he is into road biking, malling, and out-of-town trips with his family.   He also does some diet and sit-up exercises to maintain good health and form.  On the side, he has started putting up investments like apartments and commercial spaces for rent as stable income-generating ventures for the future of his children. 

Kathleen G. Sabado, Traffic Operations. Khate has been with the company since 2015. She started out as a lady Patrol Crew and has been awarded for her meritorious performance by TMC/NLEX Corp. and LTO. In 2018, she joined the Traffic Investigation Section and has been recognized as the only female traffic investigator in the tollways industry by TRB.

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