If you’ve been following the news, then you’re probably aware that toll operators are moving on to cashless transactions via RFID starting November 2020. This decision was made in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Currently however, there have been issues regarding acquiring an RFID sticker. With regards to this, the Department of Transportation Asec. Goddes Hope Libiran said on a Facebook post that the mandatory implementation of cashless toll collection deadline has been extended from November 2 to December 1. After December 1 however, no further extensions will be granted.
After December 1, all tollways will require RFID. [Photo: NLEX Corporation]
Furthermore, motorists plying the toll beyond the December 1 deadline without an RFID sticker will be apprehended and will be issued with a citation ticket. As to what the penalties are for this citation, there’s no information yet.
With regards to this deadline extension, Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) Executive Director Abraham Sales also said that:
“Secretary Tugade allowed the extension in order to give motorists, especially infrequent toll road users, more time to comply with the department order, and to prevent the long queues currently being experienced at toll roads in the rush to get the RFID stickers. But, mind you, this will be the last time that we will be extending. No more extension beyond December 1.”
As such, motorists are encouraged to acquire RFID as soon as possible. To facilitate this, RFIDs will continue to be available in key areas. Asec. Libiran also mentioned in the post that those from far-flung areas can still acquire RFID stickers from facilities adjacent to expressways before entering the tollbooth even after the December 1 deadline. The same goes for brand new cars acquired after the deadline.
RFID installation sites will not stop providing RFID stickers even after the deadline
There was also the question as to why all RFID systems can’t be integrated into one seamless system. To this, Asec. Libiran answered via the same post that this is under a project called “Toll Interoperability.” The said project has been pushed by DOTr since 2017, and what the agency is doing now is actually part of the said project. The Toll Interoperability project itself has three phases;
- Phase One - Cashless payments
- Phase Two - One RFID for two wallets. This means that the RFID sticker can be used on both south expressways and north expressways. You’ll still need to load up two different wallets for each toll system.
- Phase Three - One RFID sticker and one wallet for all expressway systems.
Some people also expressed their concern for the livelihood of tollbooth operators. With regards to this, Asec. Libiran said that their respective employers are currently looking for ways to keep them employed. To clarify things, these people are employed by the owners of the toll systems and not DOTr.
Another question Asec. Libiran answered was about the very long lines at RFID installation sites. To this, the said that despite being given three months to comply, many motorists chose to acquire a RFID sticker near the deadline. As such, they are hoping that the new December 1 deadline will address this issue.
Just get an RFID asap. It's much more convenient, and it might also lessen your waiting times on toll plazas.
To sum it all up, the installation and availability of RFID stickers will continue to be available after December 1. After that date however, all motorists planning to pass through any of the expressways are required to have an RFID. Failure to this government mandate will result in a citation ticket, according to DOTr.
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Cesar G.B. Miguel