Senator Grace Poe urged the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to examine the entire process of the cashless payment system on toll roads to avoid any miscalculation that will shortchange motorists.
“Motorists should not be made to further suffer in their effort to comply with the government regulation to shift to a cashless toll system,” stressed Poe, chairperson of the Senate committee on public services.
Department Order No. 2020-012 of the DOTr makes contactless transactions on expressways mandatory.
“The government must assess the entire system and look at the payments or settlements at the end of the process.”
“The government must assess the entire system and look at the payments or settlements at the end of the process,” the veteran legislator said.
With toll operators already giving the radio frequency identification (RFID) stickers for free, the DOTr now only 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,” the seasoned lawmaker.
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.
If a motorist enters Cavitex from Roxas Boulevard and takes the Zapote exit with a balance of P99, he or she would still need to load money in the account even if the toll costs only P25.
“Any additional, uncalled-for expense is no longer acceptable for our people.”
“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,” the lady senator reminded.
“At the very least, the government must ensure that our motorists aren’t saddled with unnecessary amounts of maintaining balances,” she emphasized.
“Umaasa tayo na ang sistema ng RFID ay magiging maayos at kikiling sa kapakanan ng mga motoristang gasgas na ang bulsa sa gitna ng sunud-sunod na kalamidad at pandemya,” Poe added.
At the same time, she stressed that getting the RFIDs should not be made complicated and trying.
“Kung tutuusin, dapat kasimbilis lang ng pagpapakarga ng gasolina ang pagpapalagay ng RFID,” Poe concluded.