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Gov’t told to suspend RFID toll scheme

PHILIPPINE STAR/ MICHAEL VARCAS

THE SENATE on Monday adopted a resolution asking the Transportation department and its attached agencies to suspend its mandatory cashless toll payment scheme.

The agency should defer the program pending complaints from motorists, according to Senate Resolution 596.

“On the outset, we can already see two major issues: the absence of an interoperable RFID on all expressways and the sheer volume of vehicles that need to obtain radio frequency identification (RFID) stickers within a short time frame,” Senator Grace S. Poe-Llamanzares said in her sponsorship speech.

Fourteen senators signed the resolution including Senators Ralph G. Recto, Juan Miguel F. Zubiri, Maria Lourdes Nancy S. Binay, Emmanuel D. Pacquiao, Imee R. Marcos, Ramon B. Revilla, Jr., Ronald M. dela Rosa, Francis N. Pangilinan, Panfilo M. Lacson, Leila M. de Lima, Emmanuel Joel J. Villanueva, Richard J. Gordon, Risa N. Hontiveros-Baraquel and Sherwin T. Gatchalian.

Ms. Llamanzares cited complaints about difficulties in getting RFID stickers, the limit on RFID applicants daily and the high minimum load requirements. There were also complaints about malfunctioning RFID scanners and delays in the reloading system.

“The resulting problem is not merely confined in the area where electronic toll collection systems are located,” she said. “The traffic jams they cause extend to nearby cities and municipalities which, in turn, paralyzes their local economies.” — Charmaine A. Tadalan

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