President Rodrigo Duterte warned officials of the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) that they will be sacked if another “fiasco” such as the traffic mess caused by the implementation of the radio frequency identification (RFID)-based toll collection system in expressways in Luzon would happen.
He even called them “inutile” and “deadwood.”
In a public address late Wednesday night, Duterte called TRB officials “inutile”, and suggested to replace them with a retired military official if they could not improve their regulatory services.
“Another fiasco, alis na kayong lahat at ilagay ko nalang sa isang tao (and you’re all out and I’ll appoint someone else there). You better call them regularly [Transport Secretary] Art [Tugade] at pag hindi (because if not), just set them aside maglagay ka lang ng tao diyan, expert na mag-plano, isang tao lang naman kailangan diyan e. Magkuha ka ng military (just assign someone there, an expert, just one person is needed. Get someone from the military),” he said.
Duterte said that before he could even start firing anyone, TRB officials who acted as “deadwood” were better off stepping down from their posts.
“I have to weed out incompetence. I do not want you becoming a deadwood. If you cannot perform what is expected of you then the best that you can do for decency’s sake, resign and do not wait to be fired because masakit ‘yan, mapahiya ka (because being embarrassed is going to hurt),” he said.
He said the traffic mess and confusion could have been avoided if the TRB had fully prepared for the rollout of the cashless toll collection system before it was implemented.
“Next time you prepare the public. Kayong mga (You) regulators, if there are changes, if there are I said innovations there, let them practice it. Ayusin niyo muna. Huwag kayo basta papasok-pasok (Fix it first. Don’t just suddenly implement it) especially if it involves public interest and public safety,” he said.
Duterte urged TRB officials to meet with Tugade on Thursday to discuss measures to fix the RFID mess. SOVEREIGNPH