Senator Grace Poe on Thursday asked the Department of Transportation to suspend the full implementation of cashless expressways as she prepared an investigation into motorists woes over the RFID-based payment system.
The current infrastructure isn't completely ready, said Poe, who chairs the Senate committee on public services. The cashless expressways started last Dec. 1 as part of measures to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Motorists are still lining up for RFID stickers in select toll gates, causing traffic jams. Valenzuela City suspended operations of NLEX toll gates in its jurisdiction and declared a toll holiday, citing faulty RFID sensors.
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"Bakit hahayaan na magbakbakan ang operator at local government at magdusa ang taumbayan?," Poe said.
Transportation Sec. Arthur Tugade will be called to the inquiry, which could start as early as next week, she said.
"We are asking the DOTr to suspend the full implementation of the 100-percent cashless transaction it compelled toll operators. The system isn't completely ready," she said.
Poe also rued the minimum P500 load required for RFID stickers. She said the amount was too big when the motorist will pay just P100 for toll.
"All these chaos could have been avoided had the DOTr consulted with its shareholders and listened to their concerns," she added.