Earlier this month, we reported that a unified toll collection system was coming to our highways. This meant that all those long stretches in Luzon would collect their fees under one scheme, making them interoperable with one another. Last week, that commitment was made formal.
On September 15, the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Department of Public Works and Highways, Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), Toll Regulatory Board, and Land Transportation Office (LTO) signed a memorandum of understanding with the respective toll road operators to unify the fee collection systems for faster and more seamless travel. So for example, once NLEX-SLEX connector roads are built, you'll only need one ticket to enter from NLEX and exit at SLEX.
“Sa araw na ito, walang Ayala-Zobel, walang (Manny) Pangilinan, walang (Ramon) Ang,” said DOTr secretary, referencing the three major operators of the country’s expressways. “Ang meron ngayon, iisang sambayanan lang. What you have today is a project where government and the private sector contributed. Sama-sama tayo."
The good news is, we won't have to wait long to reap the benefits. Interoperability for electronic toll collection will be implemented immediately, although this won't be instantaneous. Expect cash payments to be accepted after six months from the time of implementation. Hooray for receipt-free gloveboxes!