Another fiasco and you’re all fired, Duterte warns TRB amid RFID mess
MANILA, Philippines — “Another fiasco, alis na kayong lahat.” (Another fiasco, you will all be fired.)
This was the warning of President Rodrigo Duterte to the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) on Wednesday night over the regulator’s “incompetence” to deal with the issues linked to the implementation of the mandatory cashless toll payment scheme.
“If you cannot perform what is expected of you, then the best that you can do is resign and do not wait to be fired kasi masakit iyan, mapahiya ka,” (Do not wait to be fired because that is embarrassing.) Duterte said in a taped speech.
According to Duterte, the TRB should not have allowed the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) payment scheme to be put into use without a trial run to ensure the efficiency of the system.
Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian previously ordered the suspension of the business permit of NLEX Corp. following traffic congestion in the city allegedly triggered by the faulty implementation of the toll regulator’s RFID payment system. Gatchalian’s order prevented NLEX from collecting toll from motorists.
Malacañang earlier refused to meddle in the issue but said that occurrences like this may turn off future investors.
Duterte said he understands Gatchalian’s frustrations and that his actions are well within his power as the city mayor.
The President then ordered the TRB to report to Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade how it intends to resolve the RFID mess.
The government has ordered toll operators to automate their payment system to limit human contact and prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).