The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has directed its agencies to expedite the transition to cashless transactions on toll expressways by November 2, 2020. This was after Department Order 2020-012 was issued that calls for 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.
Under the directive, the TRB is tasked to ensure that concessionaires and operators install electronic tags such as the RFID, and Automated Fare Collection System (AFCS), or other cashless payment systems on all the tollway gates. Meanwhile, the LTO is charged with studying and exploring ways and means to implement full cashless and contactless payment systems on all expressways, while the LTFRB oversees the compliance of all Public Utility Vehicles (PUVs) on the mandatory installation of such electronic tags or other cashless payment systems in their units.
“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.
Contactless transactions shall be implemented in the following identified limited access facilities: South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), Manila-Cavite Toll Expressway (CAVITEX), North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), South Metro Manila Skyway, Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR) Tollway, Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX), Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX); and all other road networks, including any extension of the existing expressway facilities mentioned, that may be constructed, established and/or operated as expressway toll facilities.
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.