“System is not ready”: Senate committee calls DOTr boss Tugade for RFID mess

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A look at the RFID signage along the northern lane of CAVITEX on December 1st, 2020. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News / File

MANILA – Senator Grace Poe said Thursday the Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade will be called to the Senate to “respond for the deplorable experience of motorists passing toll booths with a“ poorly studied ”cashless transaction system.

Tugade has to appear before the senators to explain why the DOTr forced toll operators to implement a full cashless transaction system while the radio frequency identification system (RFID) has many problems.

“We are calling on the DOTr to suspend full implementation of the 100 percent cashless transaction that has forced the toll operators,” said Poe, who heads the Senate Transportation Committee, in a statement.

“The system is not fully ready yet,” she said.

Drivers complain about the long queues at toll booths for the application of RFID stickers and report that sensors in toll booths often do not read the small gadgets on the windshields of the vehicles.

Poe also questioned why some toll operators require motorists to have a P500 minimum load requirement.

“That minimum payload is a huge amount for some, especially when the toll they have to pay is just under 100p,” she said.

“This minimum burden is even higher than the minimum wage,” she said.

Poe’s decision comes days after Senator Sherwin Gatchalian tabled a similar measure.

Gatchalian’s brother, Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian, had previously suspended the operator of the North Luzon Expressway’s business permit after the company failed to resolve technical issues in its RFID system that led to traffic collisions in the city.

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Grace Poe, Arthur Tugade, RFID, Transportation, Toll Gates, Toll Gates, Cashless Payments, Senate

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