Citing a "large number" of motorists who have yet to secure their RFID stickers, San Miguel President Ramon Ang on Sunday appealed to government to extend the deadline for the implementation of full cashless expressways, which was scheduled to start on Tuesday.
Ang said his "honest opinion" was to push it back to February. San Miguel, which operates expressways south of Metro Manila, is ready to go full cashless. However, not all motorists have RFID stickers.
San Miguel is responsible for the AutoSweep RFID. Rival Metro Pacific operates most northern toll roads using EasyTrip RFID. Ang said the government should allow some cash payment toll gates as a consideration.
In guidelines released last week, the Department of Transportation said motorists could still get their RFID stickers from Dec. 1 onwards and there will be a transition period until Jan. 11.
"Given the surge in last-minute applications we’re seeing, we don’t think we will be able to serve everyone. A large number of motorists will not make it to the Dec. 1 deadline,” Ang said in a statement.
The volume of applications is "just too much" despite the opening of 100 RFID sticker installation sites, Ang said.
“My honest opinion is we will really need at least until February. And that is what we are asking government. To allow us to retain even just a few cash lanes until February,” Ang said.
A "majority" of lanes will be for cashless payments, some will be dedicated to stickering and at least one can be for cash payments, he said.
“As the DOTr itself said, there really is no need to panic if you are a non-regular user of expressways. Even with the scheduled implementation on Dec. 1, motorists with no stickers will not be apprehended," he said.
“For those that have not been able to get theirs, I think we won’t lose anything by providing them some consideration. We hope government will study this option carefully. At the end of the day, we will abide by what they say,” he said.