House to probe RFID tagging scheme of LTO

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Lawmakers in the House of Representatives have called for a congressional inquiry into the proposed radio frequency identification (RFID) tagging for public utility buses by the Land Transportation Office (LTO).

Cagayan De Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez and Abante Mindanao Party-list Rep. Maximo Rodriguez Jr. have filed House Resolution 2254 directing the House Committee on Metro Manila Development to invite all the stakeholders to include the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC), LTO, Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Alliance of Concerned Transport Organization (Acto), Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator (Piston), and other agencies and entities to resolve the issue.

Rodriguez said there is a need to clarify why Piston and other transport operators are against the RFID project, which they described as a “money-making scheme.”

“While Piston is opposing the implementation for fears that the tagging scheme will not help ease traffic congestion and would be a source of corruption, Acto supports the RFID project,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said the RFID tagging scheme entails additional cost to public utility, which will eventually be passed on to commuters who will ultimately bear the brunt of increased fares.

“There is a need to carefully study this program considering that even transport groups are divided over the issue,” Rodriguez said.

Earlier, the LTO and the DOTC proposed to implement a plan to use RFID tags to weed out out-of-line or colorum public utility buses (PUBs) and decongest Metro Manila’s major thoroughfares.

According to LTO, RFID tags on PUBs will allow easy identification of colorum units plying Metro Manila’s streets and highways, especially EDSA.

There are currently more than 5,000 city buses and at least 8,000 provincial buses plying EDSA and other roads in Metro Manila, not including colorum buses.

The RFID tagging scheme, also known as e-tagging, according to LTO is a possible replacement for the paint tagging scheme used by the MMDA to monitor the movement of PUBs along EDSA and other major roads in the Metropolis.

Rodriguez also said the LTO hopes to make it easier for the government agencies like the MMDA to regulate the number of buses along EDSA with more active law enforcement which would in turn benefit legitimate bus units, using the tagging scheme in PUBs.

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