President Rodrigo Duterte said Wednesday public anger over the implementation of RFID cashless tollways was "justified" as he blamed the "incompetence" of regulators for inefficiencies.
The Toll Regulatory Board failed to hold a dry run for the RFID shift that started Dec. 1. There should have been a one-week long test at least, Duterte said.
Tycoons who operate the tollways can't be blamed, Duterte said. "It is a fault of the system. Yes, because the system was not tested thoroughly." Manuel Pangilinan's Metro Pacific is in charge of NLEX and Easytrip RFID while Ramon Ang's San Miguel handles SLEX and AutoSweep RFID.
"I understand this burst of anger, which is justified para matauhan kayo," Duterte said in his weekly address to the nation.
The failure of the TRB to implement cashless tollways "will reflect on us," Duterte said. The government will be blamed, he said.
"Hindi ko matanggap ang incompetence kasi kami nasisisi. You wrought hardships on the people," he said.
Transportation Sec. Arthur Tugade apologized to the public for the inconveniences brought by the RFID shift.
"Be assured that the inconveniences caused is not designed, not intended. There will be a day-to-day curing momment. Aayusin po namin yan Mr. President," he said.