LGUs, businesses endorse cashless expressway transactions

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Local government officials in the provinces of Bulacan and Pampanga are encouraging the public to go for cashless toll payments at NLEX-SCTEX as a measure to prevent the transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 as the country is now in the “new normal” setup and the digital transactions becoming a necessity.

In its series of dialogues with local government units, NLEX Corporation discussed the company’s transition to contactless transactions through radio frequency identification or RFID platform, in line with the Department of Transportation’s digitalization drive.

The RFID is a small, paper-thin, and battery-less sticker that is directly mounted onto the vehicle’s windshield or headlight.

NLEX Corporation is shifting from cash to full RFID-enabled toll collection lanes before the year ends and ramping up its information drive by offering more ways to make it convenient for motorists to avail the RFID. Among these efforts include putting up more installation sites including 24/7 ones and making the Stick-It-Yourself stickers available onsite and online.

“Hinihikayat ko kayo na magpa-install ng RFID sticker sa inyong mga sasakyan para sa contactless transactions sa pagdaan ninyo sa mga toll gate ng NLEX. Isang magandang hakbang ito para sa ibayong pag-iingat natin laban sa Covid-19,” said Municipality of Bocaue, Bulacan Mayor Jose Santiago Jr.

“Sa RFID, mayroon tayong contact-free transactions at siguradong mapapabilis ang biyahe. Win-win solution po ito ngayong panahon ng pandemic para sa resilience ng ating lungsod,” Meycauayan City Mayor Linabelle Ruth Villarica also stressed.

The national government has been asking LGUs to beef up the use of contactless payments in their communities as the fight against the dreaded virus continues. The Angeles City Council recently passed a resolution advising the general public to use RFID when passing through the expressways.

Putting premium on the safety of Angeleños, Mayor Carmelo Lazatin Jr. of City of Angeles, Pampanga expressed support for the implementation of cashless expressway transactions. “Malaking tulong ang RFID laban sa COVID dahil contactless na po at wala na pong face to face na pagbabayad. Sa traffic naman po natin, mas madali at mas mabilis ang magiging daloy ng trapiko kapag naka-RFID tayo,” he said.

Echoing Mayor Lazatin is Angeles City Vice Mayor Maria Vicenta Vega-Cabigting, who believes that the technology will really help curb the spread of COVID-19.

The Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (PamCham) likewise recognized the benefits of using RFID. PamCham President Renato Romero noted that “the use of this technology will not only reduce the queues in the toll lanes, but more importantly, mitigate the threat of the Covid-19 to the delivery of essential goods and services.”

“We are overwhelmed by the support of our stakeholders in our RFID migration campaign. The RFID eliminates queuing at toll plazas and would help motorists travel with ease. Rest assured that you can count on us to help provide safe, seamless, and efficient expressway services to the public,” said NLEX Corporation President and General Manager Luigi Bautista.

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