Amid the observance of Holy Week, Bataan 1st district Rep. Geraldine Roman reminds expressway operators to expedite the integration process of their respective toll collection systems for the benefit of commuters.
Hasten integration of toll collection systems, Roman tells expressway operators
At a glance
Bataan 1st district Rep. Geraldine Roman has joined the chorus of those asking the country’s expressway operators to expedite the integration process of their respective toll collection systems.(MANILA BULLETIN)
Roman did so during Holy Week, when Filipinos traditionally leave the city for the province or elsewhere during their vacation.
The lady solon noted that once toll fees on the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), and other tollways managed by San Miguel Corporation (SMC) and businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan become completely centralized or unified, motorists and travelers will save a significant amount of time, resulting in a more relaxed journey.
“Imagine if you weren’t bothered by long lines at the tollgates on your way to the vacation, wouldn’t your travel feel more pleasant and comfortable?” Roman, who chairs the House committee on gender and equality said on Holy Wednesday.
Travel along tollways in Metro Manila has slightly improved because the SMC-operated tollway radio-frequency identification (RFID) can now be used on Pangilinan-operated expressways. This, even as the accreditation of the Pangilinan tollway RFIDs is still being finalized by SMC.
Toll collection has also been centralized for the interconnected SMC-operated tollways such as SLEX, MATES, and Startollways. This allows motorists entering the Skyway en route to Batangas to pay only once.
Roman also asked concerned agencies to explore the possibility of implementing a full non-contact payment system for passengers of provincial buses as a solution to the long queues in their ticketing offices during holidays.
Currently, the contactless payment system in the Philippines is only available for point to point (P2P) buses, EDSA Carousel, Metro Rail Transit (MRT), and Light Rail Transit (LRT).
This has resulted to overcrowding at provincial bus terminals, particularly during long holidays such as Holy Week.
"Kasabay ng layunin ng gobyerno na i-modernize na ang mga public transport, napapanahon na rin para magkaroon ng maayos at iisang sistema para sa contactless payment system sa mga pampublikong sasakyan sa bansa (In line with the government’s aim of modernizing our public transport, it's also timely to have an efficient and unified comtactless payment system for public utility vehicles)," said Roman.
The Bataan lawmaker also wants to ensure not only transport workers' safety, but also that of passengers.
In her proposed bill called the Magna Carta for Public Land Transport Workers, the government is tasked to create several agencies such as the Office of the Transport Cooperative, Presidential Public Land Transport Commission, and Public Land Transport Workers Confederation.
Having these in place will provide an extra safety measure for the government to easily monitor PUVs and transport workers that they are qualified to travel on the road, she said.