Implementation long overdue: Sandro Marcos leads House push for one RFID policy on all expressways

Presidential son and Ilocos Norte Rep. Sandro Marcos is leading a move in the House of Representatives to consolidate the radio frequency identification (RFID) tags used on all Philippine expressways.

Marcos, along with Cavite Rep. Jolo Revilla, Paranaque Rep. Edwin Olivarez, Valenzuela Rep. Eric Martinez and Caloocan Reps. Oscar Malapitan and Dean Asistio, filed House Resolution 159 urging the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and attached agencies to fast-track the implementation of phases 2 and 3 of the toll interoperability project.

“Full implementation of the said project has long been overdue and further delay of its implementation is causing great inconvenience to the public,” the measure read.

At present, all vehicles must be equipped with both the EasyTrip and AutoSweep RFIDs and maintain enough load for each of them to ensure hassle-free travel across toll roads.

The DOTr in 2020 issued an order requiring cashless and contactless payments across toll roads as a COVID-19 safety measure, but has not delivered on its January 2021 goal to unify the services of both electronic tags.

EasyTrip, made by the MVP Group’s Metro Pacific Tollways Corp., is usable for the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX, Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX), Cavite Expressway (CAVITEX), C5 Southlink, and the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX).

San Miguel Corp.’s AutoSweep, meanwhile, is necessary on the Skyway, South Luzon Expressway, STAR Tollway, Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX), Ninoy Aquino International Airport Expressway (NAIAX), and the Muntinlupa-Cavite Expressway (MCX).

Having no load on a specific RFID tag for the destination entailed a fine or even a violation ticket.

Armed client holds bank staff hostage to access savings

An armed customer threatening to set himself ablaze held bank workers hostage throughout the day Thursday in Lebanon’s capital, demanding to withdraw his trapped savings to pay hospital fees, security sources and a family member said.