Solons to DOTr: Fast-track implementation of tollways’ RFID interoperability
MANILA, Philippines — Lawmakers from the House of Representatives want the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to fast-track the implementation of the next phases in the interoperability of radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags used in tollways systems, as it has been over a year since the system was implemented.
House Resolution (HR) No. 159, which was sent to the appropriate committee on Monday, seeks the implementation of the Phases 2 and 3 of the Toll Interoperability Project, as two systems are still being used right now.
Currently, tollways under the Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC) like the North Luzon Expressway, Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway, and the Cavite Expressway use the Easytrip RFID. Meanwhile, those under SMC Tollways like the South Luzon Expressway, Skyway Stage 1 to 3, and the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway use Autosweep RFID.
Motorists using the expressways operated by these conglomerates need to use two RFID tags as of now — which means two stickers, two accounts, and two different top-up systems.
“It has been more than a year since the implementation and completion of the Phase 1 of the Toll Interoperability Project […] full implementation of the said project has been long overdue and further delay of its implementation is causing great inconvenience to the public,” House Resolution No. 159 said.
“Now, therefore, be it resolved as it is hereby resolved, by the House of Representatives, to urge the [DOTr] and its attached agencies to fast-track the implementation of the Phase 2 and Phase 3 of the Toll Interoperability Project; ensuring the promised convenience and seamless travel for motorists plying the expressways in Luzon,” it added.
HR No. 159 was authored by the following lawmakers, whose constituents often use the expressways:
- Caloocan City 3rd District Rep. Dean Asistio
- Caloocan City 1st District Rep. Oscar Malapitan
- Ilocos Norte 1st District Rep. Alexander Marcos
- Valenzuela 2nd District Rep. Eric Martinez
- Parañaque 1st District Rep. Edwin Olivarez
- Cavite 1st District Rep. Ramon Jolo Revilla
In the third quarter of 2020, the DOTr under the administration of former president Rodrigo Duterte mandated the switch from cash-based transactions at toll exits to the use of RFIDs, to reduce possible COVID-19 transmissions brought by human-to-human contact.
With the move, a cashless system was adopted, with the promise that motorists can soon use one account to load both Easytrip and Autosweep tags. While many welcomed the move, there were a lot of infuriated motorists as they reasoned out that not all people travel through expressways frequently.
However, almost two years after the switch to RFIDs, users still need to load their accounts separately — resulting in remaining load being untapped for months for drivers who don’t frequent expressways.
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