IN AN effort to implement the controversial Radio Frequency Identification Device (RFID) project, Land Transportation Office (LTO) Chief Arturo Lomibao on Thursday visited the local office, with officials of Pasa Masda.

"We're here to see the implementation of the RFID. Gusto kong makita kung paano ini-implement locally yung project and to see what are the problem so we could address them immediately," said Lomibao, who was in Cebu Wednesday.

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Pasang Masda, the longest running transportation group in the country, said they give their full support to RFID.

"Aside from easier detection of colorums, this will also benefit congested areas in the country where fake registered cars add up to the traffic. We're also here to say that it's not true that transport groups are against the project. I think the amount of P300 for having safer roads is worthwhile," said Pasang Masda Roberto Martin.

"This RFID, as we have always said, is aimed to lower vehicle-related crimes in the country. This will be implemented from January 4 to October 31 this year. Right now we're at Phase 1, wherein tagging is being made and ongoing training is done for the personnel who will oversee the effectivity of the project," Lomibao said.

LTO 11 head Jesus Zozobrado said out of the region's 280,000 vehicles, 904 have registered since voluntary RFID tagging started November last year. The city currently has 150,000 vehicles, Zozobrado said.

The use of RFID, according to Lomibao, will also allow the agency and other law enforcement agencies to access vehicle information to aid in traffic management, law enforcement and crime prevention.

The new system involves the tagging of a sticker on all vehicles. The sticker contains a microchip that will store vehicle information, which can only be retrieved by authorized LTO personnel and law enforcers thereby, eliminating tampering.

The tags will last for 10 years and will be made available to at least 4.76 million vehicles. Vehicle owners will have to shell P350 for the RFID tag.

Authorities said the RFID is a technology that has been widely used in other countries like China, Dubai, Singapore and some states in the United States to aid law enforcers in identifying, screening and detecting motor vehicles that break regulations.

Other transport groups such as Alliance of Transport Operations and Drivers (Altodap), Land Transportation Organization of the Philippines (LTOP), Integrated Bus Operators Association (Interboa), Provincial Bus Operators Association of the Philippines (PBOAP), Metro Manila Bus Operators Association (MMBOA), Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines (Fejodap), Metrobus and Transporter, United Transport Koalisyon, and Alliance of Concerned Transport Organization have also signified their support for the project.

Aside from the said transport groups, a group of logistics operators led by Air21 and Federal Express have also expressed their support to the new technology saying it can help ease flow of traffic and facilitate the movement of goods as well as other enormous benefits to the transportation and business sector. (With Sunnex reports)