SMC says toll roads’ cashless operations smooth, but more time needed for RFID installation
MANILA, Philippines—San Miguel Corp. (SMC), one of the country’s largest expressway operators, said the transition to full cashless toll collections on Dec. 1 this year was “smooth and peaceful”.
Even then, it appealed to the Department of Transportation (DOTr) for more time to allow “non-regular” toll road users to obtain their RFID stickers.
“Our expressways and our toll plazas are fully equipped and ready,” said SMC president Ramon S. Ang in a statement on Tuesday (Dec. 1).
“I think most of our regular motorists are also ready and are in fact benefitting already from faster and safer throughput at toll plazas,” Ang said.
“But we still have so many motorists that have not secured their RFID stickers, as we can see from the continuous high volume of applications at installations sites,” Ang said.
“It’s for them that we are asking government for a little more consideration,” he said.
“We can also better avoid panic and crowding at installation sites. It’s physical contact that we are guarding against, after all, with this cashless toll collection measure,” he added.
The DOTr earlier said motorists have until Jan. 11, 2021 to install RFID stickers on their vehicles or face arrest.
Ang asked the DOTr to consider extending this deadline to February next year.
“I think by February 2021, most or majority of motorists will be able to secure their stickers. And even after that, we will not stop issuing free stickers,” Ang said.
“We will still retain sticker installation sites and lanes,” he added.
SMC, Ang said, would also bring sticker installations to villages through its mobile Autosweep program.
“If there is no urgent need for motorists to travel and use the expressways yet, we advise you that there is no need to panic,” Ang said.
SMC operates the South Luzon Expressway, Metro Manila Skyway, Naia Expressway, Southern Tagalog Arterial Road and Tarlac Pangasinan La Union Expressway.
Edited by TSB
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.