Several lawmakers, led by House Senior Deputy Majority Leader Ferdinand Alexander Marcos of Ilocos Norte and Valenzuela City Rep. Eric Martinez on Sunday urged the Department of Transportation and its attached agencies to fast-track the implementation of Phase 2 and Phase 3 of the government toll interoperability project.
Marcos, along with Martinez, Caloocan City Rep. Dean Asistio, Parañaque City Rep. Edwin Olivarez, Cavite Rep. Ramon Revilla III and Caloocan City Rep. Oscar Malapitan, filed House Resolution No. 159.
Martinez lamented that the toll interoperability project has been long overdue, saying further delay of its implementation is causing great inconvenience to the public, especially to those traveling in various toll expressways.
“Since 2017, the DOTR has been pushing for this project and had the good window of opportunity to roll it out smoothly when the COVID-19 pandemic struck the country. As part of the measures to prevent the spread of the virus, cashless or no contact transactions were required for all vehicles passing through toll expressways,” he said.
“Under the cashless toll collection scheme, which is actually the Phase 1 of the said project, motorists need to have their vehicles installed with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) sticker, that has sufficient preloaded amount so that every time they use the tollways, the necessary payment upon their exit will be electronically deducted,” he added.
DOTR moved the implementation of the mandatory cashless payments in all toll expressways from Nov. 2, 2020 to Dec. 1, 2020, and later to Jan. 11, 2021, to give motorists ample time in having radio frequency identification stickers installed in their vehicles.
There have been two major players on toll expressways, Martinez said. The San Miguel Corp. operates the Skyway, South Luzon Expressway, STAR Tollway, Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway, Ninoy Aquino International Airport Expressways and Muntinlupa-Cavite Expressway, having its own AutoSweep RFID.
The Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. is using Easytrip RFID for its North Luzon Expressway, Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway, Cavite Expressway, C5 Southlink and Cavite-Laguna Expressway.
“That is why our private motor vehicle owners, operators of public transportations, including delivery vans or trucks have these two RFID stickers.” Martinez said.