MANILA – The Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) said Friday it is launching a thorough investigation on the actual cause of Thursday’s massive traffic along the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and other tollways operated by the San Miguel Corporation (SMC).

“Ginagawan po natin ng kaparaanan na sana po’y huwag nang maulit ang mga ganiyang bagay kaya’t gagawa po tayo ng masusing pag-aaral at pag-iimbestiga sa sitwasyong nangyari kahapon (We are looking for ways to avoid similar incidents which is why we’re doing a thorough study and investigation into what happened yesterday),” TRB spokesperson Julius Corpuz said during the Laging Handa briefing.

Whle the SMC attributed the problem from the fiber optics of their internet provider as the cause of system glitch in RFIDs, the TRB official said the agency has also asked the network provider of the tollways to explain in a letter the situation that led to the massive traffic congestion.

“Upang malaman namin kung ano pa ang naging dahilan, tama ba ang kanilang ginawa at nasa tamang panahon ba iyong intervention measures na kanilang inilagay dahil nais po naming maiwasan muli ang mga ganyang pangyayari (So we would know what are the other causes, if they responded correctly, and if their intervention measures were timely, because we want to prevent similar incidents),” Corpuz said.

In addition to the investigation, he said the TRB will be performing regular audits on the tollways under their coverage to ensure the functionality of equipment and systems used by tollway operators.

“At kung dahil sa hindi maiiwasan kung anumang kadahilanan – gawa man ng tao o kung anuman ang kadahilanan - ‘ika nga ay dapat may intervention measures silang ipatupad kaagad nang sa ganoon hindi naman po ma-inconvenience ang ating mga motorista (And if there are unavoidable incidents - whether man-made or not - there should have intervention measures that they can immediately apply to avoid inconveniencing our motorists),” Corpuz said.

The disruption of the RFID system at SLEX from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Thursday led to traffic jams along thoroughfares going to Metro Manila.

In response, Corpuz pointed out that SMC decided to leave the toll barriers up to help ease the gridlock, but the slow traffic condition continued for several more hours due to the sheer number of vehicles.

To date, he said the communications network of the affected tollways has since been restored and the traffic situation has normalized.

For its part, he said the SMC has apologized to motorists for the inconvenience. (PNA)