As a way to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, transport officials have directed Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) operators using tollways and expressways to install Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags on their authorized vehicles.
In a press release by the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), and Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) on May 18, the main goal of this directive is to promote cashless transactions in tollways and expressways. It is to ensure that physical distancing and limited direct contact are practiced when settling payments.
As of writing, the Department of Health (DOH) has confirmed 12,718 cases and 831 deaths in the country. They have also reported that 2,729 have recovered.
According to TRB Executive Director Abraham Sales, "With RFID, transactions are contactless, fast, and convenient. We urge our motorists to use this innovative payment transaction at toll plazas as this will prevent long vehicle queues and will definitely make your travel hassle-free." The Toll Regulatory Board is also offering to install the RFID tags in vehicles for free.
LTRFB Chairman Martin Delgra also said, "This directive is effective immediately. Wala ‘ho tayong sasayanging oras dahil buhay ng tao ang nakataya dito." As for non-operational PUVs whose areas remain under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) or general community quarantine (GCQ), they will have to comply immediately once their operations resume.
“[Transportation] Secretary Tugade would always remind us to embrace the benefits of technology. And now that we are facing this pandemic, it is high time to do so. We shall optimize its advantages for the safety of our motorists,” says LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra.
Main Image by Jerome Ascano.