House wants full RFID implementation delayed

House wants full RFID implementation delayed
An RFID sticker.

MANILA, Philippines — Cashless toll payments should only be fully implemented until these are “fully operational and are interoperable,” the House of Representatives said Wednesday.

The House adopted Wednesday a resolution urging the transportation department to defer the full implementation of the RFID system at tollways. The resolution is non-binding and merely expresses the sentiment of the chamber.

Previous hearings at the House on the transition of tollways to a fully cashless payment system in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19 revealed that toll regulators and operators have a long way to go before going full speed on the implementation of the system.

For one, the Toll Regulatory Board has yet to submit clear guidelines, plans and timelines on the implementation of cashless toll payments and interoperability among different payment systems.

Private concessionaires also admitted that they have only installed around 1.7 million RFID stickers, when there are more than six million vehicles in Metro Manila, Central Luzon and Calabarzon.

The House’s adoption of a resolution on the cashless toll payments come on the heels of the Senate’s adoption of a similar resolution calling on the transportation department to suspend its implementation.

The transportation department has required all tollways to use a cashless collection system using RFID stickers, but this policy resulted in traffic jams at toll plazas as motorists complained of malfunctioning sensors and other glitches. — Xave Gregorio with a report from Ria Fernandez/News5

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