Senator Christopher “Bong” Go on Friday urged concerned agencies, particularly the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB), to immediately address the problems with the implementation of electronic toll collection on expressways.
In an interview right after personally attending the launch of the Malasakit Center in Marikina City, Go said that while the issue is currently being investigated, the DOTr, must address and resolve the inconvenience the issue has caused to the public as soon as possible. The DOTr is the mother agency of TRB.
“Meron na po silang ginagawang imbestigasyon at pamamaraan para maisaayos po ang problema d’yan sa trapik na dulot ng RFID (They are conducting an investigation and looking for ways to address the traffic problem caused by the RFID),” said Go, referring to the radio frequency identification (RFID) tags needed for the electronic toll collection on the expressways.
“So, nananawagan po ako sa DOTr at sa TRB na ayusin n’yo na po. Trabaho n’yong ayusin ang problemang ‘yan at ‘wag ipasa sa publiko ang trapik (So, my call to the DOTR and TRB is to fix the problem. It is their work to fix the problem and not pass it the traffic to the public),” he added.
Go also said that defective RFID tags on some vehicles, such as trucks, leads to a domino effect on the traffic situation — frustrating many motorists.
He then urged DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade to hold accountable those who are responsible for the problem or negligent in addressing these issues.
Samar Rep. Edgar Sarmiento, head of the House Committee on Transportation, recently warned the TRB that he would ask President Rodrigo Duterte to veto the 2021 budget of the agency if it would not address the problem.
In response, Go affirmed Duterte has the prerogative to veto the 2021 budget of the TRB if it fails to fix the issue, which has caused discomfort among motorists.
Downplaying the possibility of Duterte vetoing the budget, Go said that the President himself wants the budget to be enacted as soon as possible to address the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
“Still, prerogative po ng ating Pangulo ‘yan kung ibe-veto n’ya ‘yung TRB (budget) (Still, the President has the prerogative to veto the TRB budget),” he added. SOVEREIGNPH