We reported the other day that the Department of Transportation (DOTr) will soon be requiring all major expressways to implement a completely cashless payment system in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. This will be implemented under Department Order (DO) No. 2020-012 that was signed just a few weeks back.
Well, the agency has just sent over a copy of the DO, and it appears that this new system will take effect on November 2, 2020. According to the order, the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) will be the agency assigned to oversee this full transition into a cashless and contactless payment system.
Section 2.a. of the official document reads: “To address the COVID-19 pandemic, the TRB shall ensure that concessionaires and operators shall install electronic tags or other cashless systems, such as, but not limited to, RFID, Automated Fare Collection System (ACFS), 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 2 November 2020.”
All toll roads under the Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC) and SMC Tollways will be affected. In case you need a rundown, Easytrip tags are used along all roads under MPTC, namely: the North Luzon Expressway, Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway, Cavite-Manila Expressway, and Cavite-Laguna Expressway. Meanwhile, Autosweep tags are used along all SMC-operated roads, specifically the South Luzon Expressway, Skyway, Tarlac–Pangasinan–La Union Expressway, and STAR Tollway.
Now, if you have yet to secure an RFID toll-collection tag, both MPTC and SMC Tollways are currently ramping up their respective efforts to make these more accessible to the public through free installation services. For more details, click here for Autosweep tags and here for Easytrip.