San Miguel Corp. (SMC) will implement cashless toll collection effective November 2 following the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) order mandating contactless and cashless payment transactions in tollways to help prevent the transmission of Covid-19.
Based on DoTR Order 2020-012 dated August 13, 2020, cashless toll collection will be implemented at the Skyway system, the NAIA Expressway; South Luzon Expressway, STAR tollway, and the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX).
According to SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang, systems reconfiguration and the setting up of additional lanes have been implemented already at its expressways, as is the free installation of RFID stickers for all types of vehicles.
“We have completed the reconfiguration of these cashless lanes to help ensure a smooth transition and hopefully, minimal delays for motorists. Implementing this measure is a priority for us because it is in line with government health regulations and it will better protect both our motorists and expressway employees,” said SMC president Ramon S. Ang.
“We support government policy to go cashless. We also believe it will stem the spread of the virus even as we keep transportation and mobility open and efficient. I would like to remind the public: For your added convenience and safety, please avail now of your free RFID stickers at our toll plazas. There are no requirements, so it will be very quick and easy,” he added.
At the Skyway, Ang said that there are now 130 Electronic Toll Collection (ETC)-capable lanes. At SLEX, 134 lanes are ETC-capable. All 36 lanes at the NAIAX and 58 lanes at STAR are already ETC capable. The TPLEX, meanwhile, has 37 ETC lanes being upgraded to 52.
Meanwhile, toll tellers who will be affected by lane automation will be reassigned to other areas of the tollways, including the new Skyway Stage 3 and the SMC Tollways’ RFID department.
“While this transition is necessary to help fight the spread of the virus, the welfare of our employees remains a priority for us, especially at this critical time. Our employees will not be displaced. Instead, we will find postings for them that are suited to their skills and competency,” Ang said.
SMC has introduced a scheme called “RFID To Go” where the sticker can be installed at the lanes with a minimum P200 load for Class 1 vehicles, and an amount equivalent to farthest toll for Class 2 and 3 vehicles.