Wed. May 12th, 2021
(Photo Courtesy: http://www.news.abs-cbn.com)

The Senate has called on the Department of Transportation (DOTR) and its attached agencies to immediately stop the implementation of the mandatory cashless toll system in Luzon’s expressways.

On Monday, 15 senators filed Senate Resolution 596 that “expressed the sense of the Senate to strongly urge the DOTR and its attached agencies to immediately suspend its order which imposes mandatory cashless system in tollgates in the country.”

The Senate will conduct a probe on the issue starting Thursday.

“While it is recognized that the implementation of the cashless transaction system on toll expressways is a step towards a more convenient commuting and/or travel experience for all and will also reduce contact and minimize the spread of Covid-19, it is not appropriate and is unfair to the public to implement a system wherein the implementers themselves are not ready and equipped to make the transition seamless,” the resolution stated.

Signing the resolution was signed by Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, Senators Grace Poe, Nancy Binay, Manny Pacquiao, Imee Marcos, Bong Revilla, Ronald Dela Rosa, Francis Pangilinan, Panfilo Lacson, Leila De Lima, Joel Villanueva, Richard Gordon, Risa Hontiveros, and Sherwin Gatchalian.

Senate Public Services Committee Chair Grace Poe, who sponsored the resolution, said the “hasty implementation” by DOTR of the cashless toll collection system has caused traffic jams at the expressways.

“This representation already said before but let the records be clear – cashless transactions in our expressways are indeed ideal. Especially in this time of the pandemic, I dare say that it is a necessity. However, effective policies are not borne out of good intentions alone,” she said.

It was in November that the DOTR made it mandatory for motorists and expressway operators to shift to the cashless collection system using the radio frequency identification cards, supposedly to speed up traffic at the expressways. SOVEREIGNPH

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