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DOTr requires toll road operators to go cashless on or before Nov. 2, 2020

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is mandating all toll road operators to go full cashless in its transactions by November 2, 2020, in a bid to arrest the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

In a statement on Thursday, the DOTr said Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade signed and issued Department Order No. 2020-10 directing concerned attached agencies, namely the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB), Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), and Land Transportation Office (LTO), to formulate new processes and procedures to ensure the smooth implementation of cashless transactions on toll expressways.

Pursuant to its function as the implementing authority over limited access facilities or expressways, the TRB is directed to promulgate rules and regulations that will require concessionaires and operators to transition to a 100% electronic toll collection lanes.

The Department Order further states that the TRB shall ensure concessionaires and operators install electronic tags or other cashless systems, such as but not limited to, RFID, Automated Fare Collection System (AFCS), etc. for all motorists and motor vehicles using the toll expressways and transact only thru the cashless mode of payment of toll not later than 02 November 2020.

“Coordination is already ongoing between TRB and our concessionaires and operators. We are also working on the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the new policy to ensure smooth and expedient transition to contactless and cashless transactions. Ginagawa natin 'yan para walang hawaan [ng COVID-19]. 'Yan po ang direktiba sa atin ni Secretary Tugade kaya sisiguraduhin po natin na maipatupad ito by November 2,” TRB Executive Director Abraham Sales said.

Metro Pacific Tollways Corp., the operator of North Luzon Expressway (NLEx), Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx), Manila-Cavite Expressway (CAVITEx), and Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAx), earlier said it is already transitioning to full RFID (radio frequency identification).

Likewise, SMC Tollways which operates Skyway, NAIA Expressway (NAIAEx), South Luzon Expressway (SLEx), Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR Tollways), and the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEx) is also going 100% RFID.

On the other hand, the LTO will be in-charge of studying and exploring ways and means to allow for a full cashless and contactless system along expressways, while the LTFRB will monitor the compliance of all Public Utility Vehicles (PUVs) on the mandatory use/installation of electronic tags or use of other cashless systems in their units.

“The new policy ensures further protection of the public from the infectious coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), as it promotes adherence to health protocols such as physical distancing through limiting human intervention, and removing the traffic queues as well as congestion at toll plazas,” the DOTr said. — RSJ, GMA News