Senator Win Gatchalian is calling for the review of the concession agreement between the government and toll operators over issues of non-performance and other possible violations committed in the implementation of the Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) program and warns toll road companies that their concessions can be revoked.
Gatchalian will file a resolution within the week while slamming toll operators anew for failing to oversee some malfunctioning RFID sensors in toll plazas prior to the implementation last December 1 of the cashless transactions, which contributed to the heavy traffic along expressways in the past few days.
The senator took note of reports on defective RFID sensors such as the case of those traversing the interchange in the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) leading to Valenzuela City.
Gatchalian likewise did not spare the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB), the agency that regulates the operation and maintenance of toll facilities, for failing to lift a finger in the wake of numerous complaints from motorists of long queues and traffic congestion.
He noted that in the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) signed by the TRB board last October 5 on the Department of Transportation (DOTr) Order No. 2020-12 requiring cashless or contactless transactions for all vehicles travelling on toll expressways, it says that toll operators are required to “ensure at all times the efficient operation and maintenance of the toll collection facility.”
Furthermore, the TRB obligated the toll road companies to act on motorists’ complaints within three business days from the time of referral or filing of the complaint, and failure to do so without any justifiable reason shall automatically result in the resolution of the issue in the motorists’ favor.
The IRR also provides for the imposition of a penalty against toll road companies for non-compliance with the policy of the TRB.
“Such is an utter display of callousness to the plight of the motorists who, because of technical glitches and apparent inaction of concerned authorities, get stuck in traffic for hours,” Gatchalian said.
“It’s all over the news that snags in the installation of RFID stickers prior to and especially on the day of the start of the cashless toll collection resulted in the high volume of cars along the expressways. This has been happening for several days now. Had there been any clear sign or action from the concerned parties in resolving this monstrous traffic jam? None,” he emphasized.
“The public expects to take cue from the authorities but obviously no one is taking the lead. Toll road operators have the temerity to exact fees from the public without any commensurate services. It’s deplorable to say the least,” Gatchalian concluded.