President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said Beep Cards should be made free to commuters after commuters were caught off guard with the price of the tap-to-pay cards that is now being used on buses aside from trains.
The commuter, however, must shoulder the load on the card, he said.
"Ibigay na yan ng libre bakit pa babayaran yan? We have been wasting so many billions to corruption bakit yan hindi maibigay?" he said.
"If there is no relief in sight, or if it cannot be done immediately, I suggest we find the money and give it to the public free para walang gulo at saka lahat meron kasi hindi laha ng Pilipino may pera," he said.
The Department of Transportation suspended the "No Beep, No Ride" on the bus system that runs parallel to the MRT after commuters complained about the cost of the tap-to-pay cards from the Ayala-Pangilinan consortium AF Payments. Transport Sec. Arthur Tugade said he was pushing to make the cards free.
Duterte said information on the cashless shift should be accessible through media that are consumed by the poor -- radio and newspapers. Without this information, the poor would arrive in bus stations with only the exact fare, without provisions for the card, he said.
"Itong Beep-Beep na ito, okay yan, wala akong problema. Ang problema ko itong maliliit at marami yan," Duterte said in his weekly address to the nation.
"Make provisions for these people, those who have not heard... those who have nothing in life," he said.
"Ayaw ko makita sa susunod na you failed to make provison for them," he said.