“Sa ngayon, pwede pang magbayad ng cash but after that, patatabihin sila paglagpas ng toll at i-install-an sila ng RFID (For now, they can still pay the toll using cash but after that, they will be asked to park on the side of the road and have an RFID installed on their vehicle),” DOTr Assistant Secretary Goddes Hope Libiran said in a message on Wednesday.
The extension is to prevent the long queues currently experienced at toll roads “in the rush to get RFID stickers,” Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) Executive Director Abraham Sales said in a media bulletin.
Sales, however, noted that the deadline would no longer be extended beyond December 1.
“Secretary (Arthur) Tugade allowed the extension in order to give motorists, especially infrequent toll road users, more time to comply with the department order,” he said.
Motorists who enter toll expressways with no RFID by December 1 and beyond “will be apprehended and issued a citation ticket,” the TRB said.
DOTr Assistant Secretary Mark Steven Pastor asked motorists to make use of the extended deadline and have RFIDs installed on their vehicles as early as they can.
“Iwasan natin ‘yung kung kailan isang linggo na lang, saka tayo magmamadaling magpunta sa installation sites para magpakabit ng RFID. Now, we are extending the deadline to give further consideration. Let us use the extension wisely,” Pastor said.
Earlier, the TRB assured that the Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. and the San Miguel Corp. – the two operators and maintenance providers of the country’s toll expressways – are equipped and ready to implement mandatory cashless transactions and have extended the installation of RFID stickers beyond November 2.
The DOTr earlier issued Department Order 2020-012, directing the implementation of cashless toll collections at all expressways and major toll roads to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 in road transportation.
What happens if motorists try to enter toll gates without RFID on Dec 1?
Motorists who fail to install a radio-frequency identification (RFID) sticker in their vehicles before entering an expressway or a toll road would be issued citations and fined after the December 1 deadline for mandatory cashless transactions in toll roads.
In a message to reporters Wednesday, Department of Transportation (DOTr) Assistant Secretary Goddes Hope Libiran said the Land Transportation Office (LTO) is looking at issuing citations to these drivers based on Republic Act No. 4136 and DOTr Joint Administrative Order (JAO) No. 2014-01.
Disobedient drivers, she said, can be issued a ticket for “disregarding traffic signs,” a violation under JAO No. 2014-01 with a PHP1,000 fine.
“Since may nakalagay na RFID-only lane pero pumasok pa rin ‘yung sasakyan (Since there’s a sign saying ‘RFID-only’ lane but the vehicle still tried to enter),” Libiran said.
She said an obstruction violation, with a corresponding PHP1,000 fine, can also be issued to a driver who attempts to enter a toll road since they will get stuck behind a toll barrier and obstruct the flow of traffic.
The DOTr said the deadline for the measure would no longer be extended.