Senators still want toll booths for cash payment despite switching to RFID

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MANILA, Philippines – Some senators on Tuesday stressed the need for a cash payment option on toll highways even though a cashless system is already in place.

“Maybe we can warn this against the budget [bill that] they or they [Department of Transportation] must maintain at least one cash desk for these toll booths, ”said Senator Grace Poe during Senate plenary debates on the 2021 budget for the Department of Transport (DOTr).

“We are too convinced that we can manage without cash transactions,” she said in Filipino.

She cited possible problems with the scanners stressing the need for a booth for cash transactions.

“Anywhere there are unforeseen circumstances. For example, the scanner will not work. There should be a fund, ”she said. =

The DOTr had previously ordered the toll highway management to apply a radio frequency identification (RFID) system by December 1. This change is part of efforts to minimize coronavirus transmissions.

RFID is a cashless payment system in which digital data encoded in tags is captured by a reader via radio waves.

Before Poe made her proposal, Senator Nancy Binay pointed out that other countries always have an option for cash payments.

“If you go abroad there is always a stall for cash transactions because if you are a tourist?” You are just going to rent a car and how can a rented car have an RFID sticker? Binay said in Filipino.

“So the concept of completely cashless, I haven’t seen that in other countries,” she added.

Senator Joel Villanueva agreed with Poe’s suggestion.

“Two days ago, I was on the NLEX [North Luzon Expresswa]) exit… There is only RFID, but it does not work and we have waited a long time, ”he told his colleagues.

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