Adopt use of QR codes instead of beep cards, solon tells DOTr

Published October 5, 2020, 12:37 PM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

Why not use Quick Response codes (QR Code), instead of beep cards to avoid long queues for bus carousel and train commuters?

This was posed by House Transportation Committee Chair and Samar  1st District Rep.  Edgar Mary Sarmiento to the Department of Transportation (DoTr), even as he welcomed the decision of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade to suspend the use of beep cards.

Samar 1st district Rep. Edgar Mary Sarmiento

He said if beep cards are unavailable, the government should start adopting the use of QR codes as a mode of payment for all forms of public transportation.

According to the House leader, the best alternative  is “to upgrade the system and allow the use of QR Codes and mobile apps that can be reloaded online or through reloading kiosks.”

“The DoTr can create its own fare reloading app  using various forms of electronic wallets and  various electronic banking platforms or it can tap the private sector to do this for them,” Sarmiento said. 

He explained that by using the QR codes, the people will not be spending too much time queuing to secure their cards,  and reduce the possibility of the commuting public contracting the coronavirus disease since it will decrease human-to-human interaction.

Sarmiento said the government should consider his proposal, which he described as  “more cost-effective and environment-friendly” because there is no longer a need to mass produce these plastic cards and  the government will no longer subsidize the production cost of these cards.

“Giving away these free beep cards is simply unsustainable because who would spend to mass manufacture these beep cards. Sooner or later, our commuters would have to pay for these beep cards because the production is not free,” Sarmiento said. 

He noted that the data stored on machine-readable cards, and on QR codes can be read by data scanners and readers.

“ Going cashless in our public transportation is the way to go. QR Codes and Beep cards are the future of Philippine public transportation,” Sarmiento said.