This was after Drilon’s recent out-of-town trip was spoiled by monstrous traffic jams near the tollway booths he passed through.
In an interview over dzBB radio Sunday, Drilon blamed the inefficient system of collecting toll fees for prolonging his travel time to 11 and a half hours from San Juan City to Baguio City last week.
He estimated having to spend more than an hour at the traffic bottlenecks that occurred near the tollbooth stops.
“Because of the inefficiencies of the toll system, ang haba ng pila ng sasakyan sa NLEX (North Luzon Expressway), SCTEX (Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway). Iba-iba ang nangongolekta ng toll fee at ang kitid ng mga toll gate. Bakit hindi na lang i-integrate ‘yung pangongolekta ng toll fees? Something must be done about this,” he said.
Traffic jams snarled the routes going to Baguio and other areas in North Luzon last week as Filipinos head for the provinces to spend Christmas and the long holiday weekend.
Earleir, the NLEX toll operator had advised motorists to bring exact change for their toll so they can save time on the road.
Drilon said he will file a resolution calling for a probe on the varying ticketing systems when Congress resumes on January 19, so lawmakers can propose solutions.
“Hihingi ako ng pagdinig tungkol dito [sa issue ng pangongolekta ng toll fees] para matingnan itong problema na ito dahil hindi lang ang mga may sasakyan ‘yung kawawa. Pati buses nakapila sa toll gates. First time ko na-experience ang ganito [kahabang pila sa mga tollway booths] sa tagal ng pagbibiyahe ko papuntang Baguio,” he said.
The Senate President also appealed to the Department of Transportation and Communication and other concerned agencies to solve the problem of traffic congestion near tollway booths for the public’s benefit.
In the House of Representatives, Quezon Rep. Aleta Suarez has filed a measure seeking to require toll operators to come up with a single ticketing system for the superhighways in Luzon, including NLEX, SCTEX, South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), and the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX).
Suarez said the convenience offered to motorists by the highways is diminished by the presence of different toll operators that implement their own ticketing systems.
“The government should require the different toll operators to put in place a single-ticketing system which eliminates both the need to procure different devices for every operator and the need for several toll booths, making our road network a bonafide superhighway,” she said in the bill’s explanatory note. — Xianne Arcangel/LBG, GMA News