Amid calls to have the installation of radio frequency identification (RFID) tags for vehicles extended, the Department of Transportation (DoTr) on Wednesday maintained that the rollout of cashless solutions for toll road transactions should not be delayed further.
The DoTr cited that toll operators have reported a number of tellers have tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) — a reason why the cashless transaction was pushed.
Transportation Assistant Secretary Goddes Hope Libiran, however, assured motorists who have yet to secure RFID tags may acquire them from booths near toll plazas. If needed, Libiran said operators may be directed to designate permanent “stickering” lanes in their toll stations.
“Please note that the primary reason for cashless transactions is to protect the health of the public from COVID-19. So, this needs to be done now more than ever. The government has allowed a transition period and ‘stickering’ lanes will be maintained,” Libiran told reporters.
“We are just asking the public motorists to ensure that they have enough balance in their cards. They don’t have to go to the toll plazas to reload because that primarily caused the traffic build-up in our expressways,” she added.
Meanwhile, Toll Regulatory Board executive director Abraham Sales noted the vehicular congestion along the toll plazas and the occasional glitches in the systems are only part of the “birthing pains” of the cashless collection policy.
The full implementation of the new measure, meant to manage and contain the spread of COVID-19, was initially targeted to begin on 2 November. It was rescheduled to start last 1 December.
The agency has set a one-month transition period to allow operators to integrate a smooth toll collecting systems.
This means no apprehension of vehicles without RFID tags is implemented until 11 January.
Motorists will only be issued a traffic violation ticket if they are in the wrong lane.