Poe to DOTr: Fix tollways RFID maintaining balance woes
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Grace Poe on Friday urged the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to examine the entire process of the cashless payment system on tollways to avoid miscalculation that will shortchange motorists.
In a statement, Poe, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Public Services, said “motorists should not be made to further suffer in their effort to comply with the government regulation to shift to a cashless toll system.”
“The government must assess the entire system and look at the payments or settlements at the end of the process,” the senator said.
Mandatory cashless transactions
The DOTr earlier issued Department Order No. 2020-012 that makes contactless transactions on expressways mandatory, in a bid to help prevent human interaction as part of efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Poe noted that with toll operators are already giving radio frequency identification (RFID) stickers for free, the DOTr needs to look into the required balance on the RFIDs and the possible charges on loading to ensure that citizens are not unduly burdened.
“Let us leave more money in their wallets by not asking for unnecessary deposits or a higher maintaining balance than they would use. People are burdened enough,” she said.
Maintaining balance woes
Motorists taking the Cavitex, for instance, are required to keep a minimum balance of P100 on their RFID accounts and the system does not allow debiting from the account even if the toll they need to pay is much less, according to Poe.
She explained that if a motorist enters Cavitex from Roxas Boulevard and takes the Zapote exit with a balance of P99, the motorist would still need to load cash credits even if the toll is only P25.
“Any additional, uncalled-for expense is no longer acceptable for our people. They have lost their jobs and earnings, with ballooning debts that they are struggling to pay,” said Poe.
“At the very least, government must ensure that our motorists aren’t saddled with unnecessary amounts of maintaining balances,” she added.
Poe further said that getting the RFIDs should not be made complicated, adding that in essence, its processing should be as fast as charging fuel.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.