Expressways here in the Philippines connect nearby provinces to city capitals or the metro. There are a lot of Pinoy drivers who rely on these big roads nowadays even during the quarantine. With that in mind, authorities are implementing contactless payment for toll fees as a safer and quicker means of transaction.
Hitting two birds in one stone
Recently, the Department of Transportation approved cashless and contactless payment in toll expressways. The idea here is to avoid the further spread of COVID-19 by restricting physical interaction. Also, this will help in removing the traffic queuing and congestion at toll plazas. DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade already signed Department Order 2020-012. Related government agencies should come up with new processes and procedures within three months. They have to guarantee the smooth implementation of this latest policy.
Moreover, the agencies under DOTr are the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB), Land Transportation Office (LTO), and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB). On the other hand, TRB is the one responsible for implementing rules and regulations for the transition. The electronic toll collection system will replace the toll expressways concessionaires and operators.
Electronic tags for PUVs will be a must
As for the LTO, it will find ways and means of a holistic cashless and contactless system. Meanwhile, LTFRB will monitor the compliance of all Public Utility Vehicles (PUVs). They will require public vehicles to install electronic tags or other cashless systems.
Secretary Tugade explain on a post, ” We carry with us the burden of ensuring that our transport facilities will not be a transmission vector of the disease, while at the same time, providing an efficient system of public transport. With both tasks at hand, there is a need to strike a balance. Requiring contactless transactions is one of our ways of doing it. And in achieving the balance, naiintindihan natin na hindi laging magiging madali sa umpisa. If there will be initial inconveniences, let us look forward to the long-term benefit of it.”
Hence, these are the following expressways that the order covers: SLEX, CALAX, CAVITEX, NLEX, SCTEX, South Metro Manila Skyway, and Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR) Tollway. In addition to those, the memo includes all other road networks and any extension of the existing expressways that are going to exist in the future.
What are your thoughts on this plan?