MANILA - The Toll Regulatory Board is unprepared in implementing cashless transactions despite a December 1 deadline for the full implementation of the contactless toll collection system, a lawmaker said Thursday.
"With due respect sa executive branch, humihingi po ako sa kanila ng guidelines, polisiya atsaka timeline sana kung paano nila gagawin ang full cashless transaction at maliwanag na maliwanag na kulang po ang preparasyon," Samar 1st District Rep. Edgar Sarmiento, chairman of the House committee on transportation, told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.
(I asked for guidelines, policies and timeline on how they will implement full cashless transactions and it was clear they lacked preparation.)
"Dun sa committee hearing walang official na sagot. Nag-hearing ulit ng Nov. 25 at uulitin ko po sinasabi namin na hindi sila handa."
(There was no official answer at the committee hearing. We held another one last Nov. 25 and I will repeat, I can say they're unprepared.)
The Department of Transportation earlier said the rollout of the cashless payment in toll expressways should not be delayed to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The full implementation of the new measure was initially set to begin on November 2 but was delayed and rescheduled to December 1.
A House resolution was filed urging the TRB to push back the mandatory implementation of the RFID system to January, Sarmiento said.
"Di pinakinggan, pinagpilitan po natin kaya nakikiusap po ako kung maaari ibalik po muna natin sa dati. Sa ibang bansa po, Indonesia, Thailand, isa’t kalahating taon hanggang 2 taon po ang kanilang transition period," he said.
(They did not listen, they pushed through with it so I'm requesting them to bring back previous policies. In other countries like Indonesia and Thailand, they had between a year and a half up and 2 years as their transition period.)
He urged toll operators to return cash lanes, hold RFID sticker installations within the expressway, and submit a new timeline for implementation.
"Maiintindihan naman po ng mga mamamayan," he said. "Sundin natin ang nararapat, pag may programa, may tinatawag pong timeline."
(The public will understand. Let's follow guidelines, if there's a program there should be a timeline.)