Ramon Ang pushes for deadline extension for cashless tollway transactions

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 29) — San Miguel Corporation President Ramon Ang is asking the Department of Transportation to consider extending the deadline for mandatory cashless transactions in toll expressways.

Ang said that while all tollways operated by SMC are ready for the shift by Dec. 1, a huge number of motorists still have not secured their RFID stickers.

“I have been monitoring the situation. We only have a few days to go, and yet our sticker installation sites are still packing long lines, especially this last weekend before implementation on Dec. 1,” Ang said.

“Given the surge in last-minute applications we’re seeing, we don’t think we will be able to serve everyone. A large number of motorists will not make it to the Dec. 1 deadline,” he added.

SMC tollways include the Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR), the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), the Skyway System, the NAIA Expressway, and the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX).

The SMC president appealed for the government to move the deadline to at least February next year and allow toll operators retain a few cash lanes in the meantime.

Despite the company’s efforts to fast-track the issuance of stickers, Ang said the given time still hasn’t been enough to accommodate the massive volume of motorists flocking to installation sites.

“For those that have not been able to get theirs (RFID stickers), I think we won’t lose anything by providing them some consideration,” Ang said. “We hope government will study this option carefully. At the end of the day, we will abide by what they say.”

Initially set in November, the Dec. 1 deadline is for toll operators to fully roll out cashless transactions -- a move meant to limit human contact amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier, the DOTr assured that cars traversing toll roads without RFID stickers will not be apprehended until January 11, 2021. However, it said drivers may receive violation tickets for causing traffic if they queue on RFID lanes.