BUNSOD ng pagdagsa ng mga reklamo at pagkakaroon ng aberya sa mismong sistema, hiniling ni House Committee on Trade and Industry Chairnan at Valenzuela City Rep. Wes Gatchalian sa Department of Transportation (DOTr) na agarang ipatigil muna ang pagpapatupad ng cashless payment sa lahat ng toll expressways.

Ayon kay Gatchalian, sa halip na ang inaasahang kaginhawaan sa pagbibibiyahe, matinding parusa dahil sa pagkakaipit ng mga sasakyan sa toll plaza ang naranasan ng mga motorista kahit sa unang araw pa lamang ng nasabing sistema.

“This haphazard implementation of the cashless toll collection in the North Luzon Expressway caused chaos in Valenzuela City and other nearby localities as several tollgates were unable to read the RFID stickers that were installed,” wika ni Gatchalian.

Bukod sa pagsablay ng RFID system, pinuna rin ng Valenzuela City lawmaker ang mababang ‘penetration rate’ ng Easytrip sa pagkakabit ng RFID sticker.

“Of the over 9 million total vehicles registered with the Land Transportation Office (LTO) as of September 2020, Easytrip has a penetration rate of only 65% even with 105 installation sites, which is mind-boggling considering Autosweep has only 89 installation stations, yet its penetration rate is at 85%,” ayon kay Gatchalian.

Samantala, sinabi ng mambabatas na hanggang nitong Disyembre 1, ang Autosweep ay iniulat na nakapagkabit na ng 1.8 milyon RFID stickers, kumpara sa Easytrip na nasa 1.6 milyon lamang ang bilang.

Matatandaan na una nang nanawagan si Gatchalian sa DOTr na suspendihin muna ang implementasyon ng cashless toll payments hanggang ang dalawang toll operators ay magkaroon ng compatible RFID system.

Nauna rito, inihain din ng kongresista ang House Bill No. 6119 na naglalayong magkaroon ng National Electronic Toll Collection System at atasan ang lahat ng toll collection facilities na gumamit ng teknolohiya na magreresulta sa interoperability ng kanilang electronic toll collection programs.

“Implementing the cashless payment scheme without interoperability will only create more problems for our motoring public,” giit ni Gatchalian.

Bukod dito, dapat din aniyang ikonsidera ng DOTr ang mahigpit na pagsunod sa health protocols bunsod ng nararanasang COVID-19 pandemic sa desisyon nito kung dapat pa ring ipilit na agad maipatupad ng cashless toll system.

“We are asking for a longer period for installation because we do not want the motoring public to go out all at the same time in a rush to have the RFID stickers installed. We want to minimize exposure of the public to the coronavirus and having them queueing for stickers simultaneously would defeat the purpose of the shift to cashless transaction, which is supposed to lessen physical contact to contain the spread of COVID-19,” sabi ni Gatchalian.

“I urge the DOTr to act swiftly in postponing the implementation of the RFID implementation, in behalf of our consumers, the motoring public, whose hardship in the long queue for the installation and now suffering in the horrendous traffic due to inoperable booths and unreadable stickers. Let us reassess where the flaw and gridlock in the system lies, improve, and resume until the operations are ready and fully functional, with the number of RFID stickers installed to date, there are millions of pesos of fresh funds from the card load that can be used to upgrade the sensors and equipments in the toll booths.” ROMER R. BUTUYAN


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