BY MYLA IGLESIAS and NOEL TALACAY
THE Department of Transportation (DOTr) has moved to December 1 the mandatory cashless payments in all expressways and major toll roads to give motorists more time to have their vehicles fitted in with radio-frequency identification (RFID) stickers.
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said there will be no second extension and urged vehicle owners to use the month-long extension to have the RFIDs installed on their cars.
Tugade said the decision to move the deadline was prompted by reports, photos and videos of long queues at toll roads of vehicles rushing to get their RFID stickers to beat the original deadline of November 2.
“The full implementation of the department order mandating only the cashless mode of payment, or the 100 percent use of electronic payment systems, in expressways will start on December 1,” Tugade said.
Abraham Sales, executive director of the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB), said: “Secretary Tugade allowed the extension in order to give motorists, especially infrequent toll road users, more time to comply with the department order, and to prevent the long queues currently being experienced at toll roads in the rush to get the RFID stickers.”
He echoed Tugade’s statement that “this will be the last time that we will be extending. No more extension beyond December 1.”
The DOTr had issued Department Order 2020-012 which ordered the full implementation of cashless toll collections at all expressways and major toll roads, in line with the government’s thrust to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), and to avoid traffic congestion in toll plazas.
Motorists who fail to conform to the government mandate will be apprehended and issued a citation ticket.
The TRB, an attached agency of the DOTr which has supervision over the operations of toll roads, said the Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC) and the San Miguel Corporation (SMC) are equipped and ready to implement the cashless payment system but have respectively extended the installation of RFID stickers beyond November 2.