TRB chief should just resign instead of getting sacked over RFID mess – Poe
MANILA, Philippines — Senate Grace Poe on Friday suggested that Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) executive director Abraham Sales should step down before he gets fired over the faulty implementation of the mandatory cashless toll payment scheme.
“Talagang sa tingin ko dapat mag-resign na siya kaysa naman paalisin pa siya diyan. Sa tono ng mga binigkas ni [Transportation] Secretary [Arthur] Tugade, eh mukhang papunta do’n,” Poe said in an interview over CNN Philippines.
(I really think he should resign before he gets removed. Based on the tone of Secretary Tugade, it seems as it would come to that.)
On Thursday, Poe led a Senate hearing on the glitches and traffic jams motorists have gone through following the kick-off of the mandatory radio-frequency identification (RFID) tolling system.
Poe noted that nothing was done to fix the glitches that marred the cashless toll the system’s rollout, causing inconvenience to thousands of motorists.
“The glitches happened not just last month; it happened on the NLEx (North Luzon Expressway) since 2017. Mayors have been lodging their complaints, only to fall on deaf ears,” she said.
But the senator pointed out that Sales is not the only one to blame and that culpability goes up to the ranks.
“Sila lahat diyan e, may culpability at I think all three links from the TRB executive director, to [Transport] Undersecretary Ruben Reinoso and ultimately, of course, Secretary [Arthur] Tugade, because he’s the head of the DOTr (Department of Transportation),” she added.
(All of them have culpability and I think all the three links from the TRB executive director, to Undersecretary Ruben Reinoso and ultimately, of course, Secretary [Arthur] Tugade, because he’s the head of the DOTr.)
Reinoso is the designated representative of Tugade in the TRB. Tugade serves as chair of the TRB as transport secretary.
“Medyo naawa ako dahil lahat ng bintang sakanya (Sales) kahapon; obviously hindi naman lahat siya, pero malaki ang pagkakasala niya do’n,” the senator said.
(I actually feel bad for him because all the blame is being shifted over to him; obviously, he’s not the only one to blame, but he has a big responsibility for the issue.)
The TRB has been receiving backlash for the RFID scheme fiasco.
It also recently irked President Rodrigo Duterte, who warned TRB officials that they would be removed in the event of “another fiasco.”
The TRB previously said that the board dealt with the problems caused by the shift to a cashless toll collection.
The board added that it had ordered the tollway operators to replace worn-out and defective sensors, RFID tags and equipment, and relocate RFID installation and reloading lanes to prevent congestion on the turnpikes. [ac]
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