The government has appealed to motorists not to wait until the last minute to get their radio frequency identification (RFID) stickers installed on their vehicles in preparation for the cashless scheme in major toll roads starting December.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the Department of Transportation (DOTr) has moved the start of the cashless toll collection from November 2 to December 1 to allow motorists to comply with the requirement.
Instead of manual cash transactions, the RFID system allows the electronic payment of tolls when a vehicle passes through a toll plaza. The motorist can load or top up his/her RFID account in toll booths and other online payment facilities.
“Paalala ko sa ating mga kababayan, iwasan natin iyong nakasanayan na kung kailan ilang araw na lang bago ang deadline ay saka tayo dudumog sa mga installation sites (I’d like to remind our countrymen to avoid the habit of waiting until a few days before the deadline to flock to the installation sites),” Roque said during a televised press briefing Thursday.
“Habang maaga pa po ay magpakabit na tayo ng RFID upang maiwasan ang last minute na transaction (While it is early, let us get our RFID stickers to avoid the last minute transaction),” he added.
Roque said the government will no longer delay the implementation of the cashless mode of payment in expressways. “Huling hirit na po ang extension na ito. Simula December 1 ay mahigpit na pong ipatutupad ang full cashless transactions sa ating mga toll roads (This is the last extension. Starting December 1, we will strictly enforce the full cashless transaction in our toll roads),” he said.
The transportation department recently pushed back the implementation of the electronic toll collection following appeals from motorists. Long lines have been reported at toll roads and other installation sites as motorists rushed to get the RFID stickers.
With a month to go before the deadline expires, Roque said motorists have ample time to comply with the government order.
“So huwag po kayong mag-panic. Binigyan po tayo nang mas mahabang panahon para magpakabit ng RFID. Ito ay upang bigyan ng konsiderasyon ang mga kababayan natin na hindi pa rin nakakapag-install ng RFID sa kanilang mga sasakyan (So do not panic. We are given more time to get the RFID stickers to give consideration to people who have not yet installed RFID on their vehicles),” he said.
In August, the DOTr issued an order directing toll road operators to use cashless transactions by November 2 amid efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus and reduce traffic congestion in toll plazas. It said motorists who are unable to comply will be issued a citation ticket.