Citing the imminent Christmas carmageddon, a House leader has asked the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to postpone the implementation of the radio frequency identification (RFID) system for at least one month.
“With the upcoming Christmas season, the volume of vehicles on the road is expected to increase,” noted assistant majority leader and Quezon City Rep. Precious Hipolito-Castelo.
“This can cause massive buildup of traffic in toll plazas and roads leading to the expressways if the Dec. 1 deadline is not reset, considering that many vehicle owners still have to get their RFIDs installed,” she said.
“It is therefore suggested that the House of Representatives express its collective sense for the further extension of the deadline to at least Jan. 1 next year,” she said.
Castelo said the one-month deferment would give motor vehicle owners more time to get their RFID stickers installed for the government’s cashless and contactless fee payment scheme in Luzon’s toll roads.
“We support the program, since it aims to stem the spread of the infectious new coronavirus. But there is not much time for hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of motorists to comply with the RFID requirement,” she pointed out.
The lady solon also called on San Miguel Corp. (SMC) and NLEx Corp. to immediately integrate their RFID and toll collection systems in order to simplify matters and provide convenience to their millions of customers.
“With integration and interoperability, a vehicle owner has to get only one RFID sticker but has to maintain two accounts. Therefore, he has to queue only once, not twice,” she said.
Castelo said that as of now, NLEx Corp.’s Easytrip system can read SMC’s Autosweep RFID, provided the latter is activated or registered with the former.