Swift passage of tollway bill urged

Motorists pass Mindanao Ave. Toll Plaza in Valenzuela on Dec. 17, 2020. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ MICHAEL VARCAS

CONGRESS should prioritize the approval of a bill imposing toll collection at expressways through Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) technology in order to prevent traffic congestion at toll gates, a lawmaker said on Sunday.

“Our country lags behind in tollway speed as we’re the only ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) nation mandating a complete stop on supposed expressways,” Party-list Rep. Bernadette Herrera said in a statement.

She called for the speedy passage of House Bill (HB) No. 8161, the Non-Payment of Toll Fees Act of 2023, which employs a standardized use of RFID systems to streamline the toll collection process.

HB No. 8161 also seeks the construction of Multi-Lane Fash Flow (MLFF) systems to allow vehicles to pass through tollgates without slowing down.

An MLFF system is “a method of electronic toll collection that enables vehicles to pass through toll plazas at highway speeds without requiring them to stop or slow down,” Section 3 of HB No. 8161 read. –

The bill also proposes to classify the non-payment of expressway fees as a traffic violation.

“By making non-payment of toll fees a traffic violation, we are sending a clear message that traffic rules must be followed,” she said, noting fines starting at P1,000 and an additional penalty of suspension of driver’s licenses of up to a year for habitual violators. — Kenneth Christiane L. Basilio