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), the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), and the 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 this writing, the Department of Health (DOH) has confirmed 12,942 cases and 837 deaths in the country. It has also reported that 2,843 have recovered.
“With RFID, transactions are contactless, fast, and convenient,” said TRB executive director Abraham Sales. “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 TRB is also offering to install the RFID tags on vehicles for free.
Said LTRFB chairman Martin Delgra: “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,” added Delgra.
NOTE: This story originally appeared on Reportr.world. Minor edits have been made.