HOUSE Speaker Lord Allan Velasco joined other leaders in appealing to the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to further extend the deadline for installing radio-frequency identification (RFID) stickers on vehicles using the tollways.
Velasco said it is better and more welcoming if DoTR extends the RFID installation until the first quarter of 2021.
According to Velasco, it is impossible for the 6.1 million registered vehicles in Metro Manila, Central Luzon and CALABARZON to be provided with RFID stickers by January 11, 2021.
Velasco said the DOTr should also consider the fact that the pandemic has constrained many vehicle owners from leaving their homes and apply for RFID stickers.
“It would be more practicable if the deadline is further extended to March 31, 2021 to give all our motorists enough time to secure the stickers for the cashless payment system given that we are still in a pandemic where movement of people is limited,” he said.
The Speaker made the call as tollways experienced gridlock upon the implementation of cashless payment at various expressways last December 1.
The Speaker shared the observations made by the House Committee on Transportation, which conducted a motu-proprio hearing last Nov. 25 in anticipation of the problems arising from the implementation of the cashless payment scheme at tollways.
Based on its calculation, the committee said it would take more than two years for all vehicles using the tollways to be provided with the RFID stickers.
Transportation Committee chair Samar 1st District Rep. Edgar Sarmiento also noted that Thailand and Indonesia took a year and a half on the average to be fully cashless.
During the hearing it was also bared that the RFID Reader Equipment Machines of the North Luzon Expressway are yet to be upgraded.