The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has moved the full implementation of the cashless toll collections on expressways from November 2 to December 1, following the clamor of motorists who have yet to install RFID stickers on their vehicles.
This will give motorists at least a month to comply with the DOTr directive to only use a cashless mode of payment when entering toll roads as the new deadline will no longer be extended, according to the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB).
In a statement on Wednesday, TRB Executive Director Abraham Sales said Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade gave the green light to extend the mandatory implementation of the 100 percent use of electronic payment systems to give motorists, especially infrequent toll road users, more time to comply with the department order.
The move was also made to prevent the long queues currently being experienced at toll roads in the rush to get the RFID stickers, he added.
“But, mind you, this will be the last time that we will be extending. No more extension beyond December 1,” Sales emphasized.
The DOTr warned that motorists who fail to conform with the government mandate after the set deadline will be apprehended and issued a citation ticket.
DOTr Assistant Secretary for Road Transport and Infrastructure Mark Steven Pastor reminded motorists to make use of the extended deadline to have RFIDs installed in their vehicles as early as they can to also avoid overcrowding in installation sites.
“Please avoid waiting for the deadline before going to the installation sites to apply for RFID. Now, we are extending the deadline to give further consideration. Let us use the extension wisely,” Pastor said.
The TRB, an attached agency of the DOTr which has supervision over the operations of toll roads, had earlier assured the public that toll operators Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC) and the San Miguel Corporation (SMC) are equipped and ready to implement the order.
The firms have recently announced that they will extend the installation of RFID stickers beyond the previous November 2 deadline.
The MPTC operates NLEX, SCTEX, CAVITEX, C5 Link, and CALAX, while the SMC manages STAR, SLEX, Skyway System, NAIA Expressway, and TPLEX.
The DOTr issued in August Department Order 2020-012 which requires toll operators to fully implement cashless toll collections at the expressways and major toll roads in line with the government’s efforts to contain the spread of the COVID-19 through limited physical contact, as well as to avoid traffic congestion in toll plazas.
Under the order, the TRB was tasked to ensure that operators install electronic tags or other cashless systems for all motorists and motor vehicles using the expressways and transact only using a cashless mode of payment.