First things first: Just now, we were told by a reliable source from the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) that as of this writing, the implementation of the ‘no RFID, no access on tollways’ policy is still set to begin on November 2, 2020.
“As of now, the policy and the deadline stays,” our source said.
Also, the TRB is already finalizing the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for the said policy under Department Order No. 2020-012, which still needs the approval of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) for its implementation.
The more pressing issue for the TRB is the reported shortage of RFID stickers, particularly for the Easytrip system under the Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation.
Easytrip gives motorists access to North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX), Cavite-Manila Expressway (Cavitex), and Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX). Autosweep, meanwhile, is used on all tollways under the San Miguel Corporation (SMC): South Luzon Expressway, Skyway, Tarlac–Pangasinan–La Union Expressway (TPLEX), NAIA Expressway, and STAR Tollway.
Most reports of RFID sticker shortage concerns Easytrip, our source claimed: “We were told that the shortage was felt in certain special installation sites where the demand for RFID went over the allocated stocks.” Being pop-up locations, these sites get limited supplies of RFID stickers compared with the permanent RFID sticker-installation stations.
Just the same, the TRB is set to hold a meeting with the two tollway management companies in the coming days to iron out the installation process—particularly at specially designated venues like malls, villages, and other terminals—so as not to cause inconvenience to RFID subscribers. “Based on their statements, [the MPTC] has more than enough supply of RFID stickers at the stockroom. There are also replenishment stocks currently being processed by the Bureau of Customs,” our source disclosed. “Probably the problem here is the distribution and allocation process. We have yet to find a solution to this.”
Also, MPTC has placed an order for more Easytrip RFID stickers. These are set to arrive in the country by the first quarter of next year.