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SMC to add more RFID installation sites

San Miguel Corp. (SMC) is adding more installation sites for the radio-frequency identification (RFID) stickers used at its toll roads, as it anticipates a larger spike in demand ahead of the Dec. 1 deadline for the full implementation of cashless toll payments.

In a statement Friday, SMC President and Chief Operating Officer Ramon S. Ang said it is opening some 100 RFID installation sites, “soon as the expected bulk delivery of RFID stickers are received.”

These sites will accommodate walk-in customers and those that set an appointment through its online system.

SMC is also extending installation hours to 24 hours, seven days a week at the Skyway Runway Plaza, Old NAIAX toll plaza, C5 toll plaza and Nichols and Calamba toll plazas.

While toll roads will not allow vehicles without RFID stickers to enter starting Dec. 1, San Miguel said motorists may still buy the stickers past the deadline.

“Although vehicles without RFID will no longer be allowed to travel on tollways beginning December 1, we will still have RFID installation in various locations, as well as continuing programs for motorists to get stickers. We will also maintain installation sites at major entry plazas. You can still secure stickers at a more convenient time, even after the deadline,” Mr. Ang said.

SMC operates the South Luzon Expressway (SLEx), Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR) Tollway, Metro Manila Skyway, NAIA Expressway (NAIAX) and Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEx).

“Traditionally, because most of our expressways-SLEx, STAR, Skyway, NAIAX-are in the south, the vast majority of our users are in the south. However, we have received so many inquiries, requests, and applications from non-regular users in the north, so we are increasing the number of installation sites there,” Mr. Ang said.

The government is implementing cashless toll payments at expressways to help mitigate the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The plan was supposed to be in full implementation last Nov. 2, but was moved later due to difficulties in providing sufficient RFID stickers to motorists. — Denise A. Valdez

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