Against the backdrop of the continued high volume of applications, tycoon Ramon S. Ang, popularly known as RSA, has asked for authorities to extend the implementation of the cashless, contactless tollway payments.
The president of San Miguel Corporation is always quick on the draw. Mr. RSA attributes the long lines to non-regular users of tollways, who had previously opined “Actually, I don’t need it,” but finally saw the rationale in enrolling their vehicles.
There was no quick reaction from the Department of Transportation (DOTr) on whether to extend the deadline or not. DOTr’s no response stems from the transition period spelled out in the implementing rules and regulations. It allows toll operators to impose penalties and charges only on January 11, 2021.
I drove around Tuesday to see for myself if the cash booth portion of the tollways have long or short queues. As expected, the line was long at a cash transaction booth. Instead of allocating only one lane, San Miguel allocated two special lanes for cash payments, which became an installation station for those still having no Autosweep RFID. (It’s Easytrip for the Metro Pacific tollways).
My question, where will we attribute our seemingly lack of sense of time behavior? The procrastination? Our mañana habit that caused last minute compliance?
We journalists are super familiar with this practice of postponing ‘til ‘morrow up until the deadline draws near on submitting special reports. Though, on a daily basis, we beat deadlines.
I am not here to point a finger because at times I am also guilty of doing whatever it is, up to the last minute. However, it annoys me to hear that some people blame the media for Insufficient information dissemination.
As early as a couple of years back, I had already written on connectivity of RFIDs between tollway operators Metro Pacific and San Miguel. Both Metro Pacific and San Miguel, along with DOTr, have been reminding vehicle owners of the need to enroll, assuring that the cashless payments provide additional comfort in travelling.
Some have complained about missing loads.
RFID loads are not a real-time transaction. There’s bit of lag time as the system inputs the amount. Rest assured, however, that in the next entry or exit point of the tollway, the amount will be there.
The system prompts you that your “balance is low” in yellow, bold letters big enough for others to see. For reloading convenience, tollways operators have linked up with some outlets, shops, and banks. Both Easytrip and Autosweep, for instance, have accredited list, from which you may choose. Just go to its website.
But let me remind you that you must click the correct website site.
As the wheels of business are churning slowly back, let’s not be side-tracked and forget to obey the protocols of social distancing, hand washing, and using protective gear – facial mask and shield.
Talkback to me at [email protected]