DOTr to require motorists to use cashless toll transactions

Motorists will soon be required to use cashless or contactless transactions when using toll expressways, as part of the Department of Transportation's (DOTr) efforts to further reduce the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country.


Under Department Order (DO) 2020-012, signed by Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, concerned agencies of the DOTr were ordered to formulate new processes and procedures within three months to ensure the smooth implementation of the new policy.

The agencies covered by the order dated August 13 include the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB), the Land Transportation Office (LTO), and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

Based on the DO, the TRB was directed to promulgate rules and regulations requiring concessionaires and operators of toll expressways to fully transition to an electronic toll collection system.

While the LTO was ordered to submit a study exploring ways and means to allow for a full Cashless and Contactless System along expressways; and the LTFRB was tasked to monitor the compliance of all Public Utility Vehicles (PUVs) on the mandatory use or installation of electronic tags or use of other cashless systems in their units.

Tugade said the move will complement other health protocols currently being enforced by the government, such as physical distancing, as it aims to limit human intervention and remove the traffic queuing and congestion at toll plazas.

"We carry with us the burden of ensuring that our transport facilities will not be a transmission vector of the disease, while at the same time, providing an efficient system of public transport. With both tasks at hand, there is a need to strike a balance. Requiring contactless transactions is one of our ways of doing it," Tugade said in a statement.

"In achieving the balance, we understand that it will not be easy at first. If there will be initial inconveniences, let us look forward to the long-term benefit of it," he pointed out.

According to the DOTr, contactless transactions will be implemented in the following identified limited access facilities:

• South Luzon Expressway (SLEX)
• Manila-Cavite Toll Expressway (CAVITEX)
• North Luzon Expressway (NLEX)
• South Metro Manila Skyway
• Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR) Tollway
• Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX)
• Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX)

The Department added that cashless transactions will also be implemented in other road networks, including "any extension of the existing expressway facilities mentioned, that may be constructed, established and/or operated as expressway toll facilities."