Leni appeals to transportation officials

Vice President Leni Robredo appealed anew Sunday to transportation officials to coordinate with each other first before implementing any policy to avoid public confusion.

Vice President Leni Robredo

Robredo appealed after the Department of Transportation (DOTr) required cashless transaction for public utility buses plying the EDSA Busway route starting Oct. 1.

Dismayed Metro Manila commuters, who are still reeling from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic complained following the implementation of the “No Beep card, No ride” policy.

They need to purchase these beep cards for P80 each on top of the initial fare load to use public transportation.

While she supports the shift to cashless transactions on public transportation, Robredo said the riding public should have been informed well in advance about the new policy.

The Vice President likened it to the DOTr’s previous policy that relaxed the physical distancing rule between passengers inside public transport to .75 meters, below the one-meter distance recommended by the World Health Organization.

“You should have talked about it so you don’t contradict each other,” she said in Filipino during her weekly radio show.

“It looks surprising that there is a program being implemented and the one implementing it will be surprised why it is being implemented,” Robredo added.

The DOTr warned they will suspend the use of beep cards should the AF Payments Inc. won’t give these to EDSA Busway commuters for free.

AFPI is a joint venture of conglomerates Ayala and First Pacific Groups, which is behind the tap-and-go cards.

The lady official said the government could easily afford to give commuters the beep cards for free to ease their burden.

“I hope, moving forward, this will happen. Because if not, the poor will be left behind. They will be left behind because they have no capacity to purchase it,” she said.