Senators still want cash payment toll booths despite shift to RFID system
MANILA, Philippines — Some senators on Tuesday stressed the need for a cash payment option on tollways even while a cashless system is already being enforced.
“Maybe we can put this as a caveat for the budget [bill that] they [Department of Transportation] have to maintain at least a cash booth for those toll booths,” Sen. Grace Poe said during the Senate plenary debates on the 2021 budget of the Department of Transportation (DOTr).
“We are too confident that we can manage with no cash transactions,” she said in Filipino.
She cited possible problems with scanners in underscoring the need for a booth for cash transactions.
“Anywhere there are unforeseen circumstances. For example, the scanner won’t work. There should be a cash booth,” she said.=
The DOTr earlier ordered tollway management to enforce a radio frequency identification (RFID) system by Dec. 1. This shift is part of efforts to minimize coronavirus transmissions.
RFID is a cashless payment scheme whereby digital data encoded in tags are captured by a reader via radio waves.
Before Poe made her proposal, Sen. Nancy Binay pointed out other countries always had an option for cash payments.
“If you go abroad, there’s always a booth for cash transactions because what if you’re a tourist? You will just rent a car and how can a rented car have an RFID sticker?” Binay said in Filipino.
“So the concept of totally cashless, I haven’t seen that in other countries,” she added.
Sen. Joel Villanueva agreed with Poe’s suggestion.
“Two days ago, I was on the NLEX [North Luzon Expresswa]) exit…There’s only RFID, but it’s not working and we waited for quite a while,” he told his colleagues.
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