By EMMIE V. ABADILLA
San Miguel Corporation (SMC) will soon go cashless on all the toll roads it operates to curb the spread of COVID-19, president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang announced yesterday.
SMC Tollways will offer free installation of RFID stickers not only to public utility vehicles, but to all types of vehicles that use the following: Skyway, NAIA Expressway, South Luzon Expressway, Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR Tollways), and the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway.
The Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) recommended the move to go 100% RFID through the Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
Earlier, the LTFRB directed all toll operators to give “free installation of RFID for vehicles using expressways to limit direct hand contact for toll payments and ensure social distancing measure.
This means cashless transactions at tollways and expressways.
Globally, the pandemic has accelerated the shift towards a cashless society as governments work to contain the spread of the virus.
The first phase of SMC Tollways plan covers the elevated section of the Skyway, NAIAX and SLEX and will take effect starting October 15 this year.
The second phase will cover the at-grade sections of the three tollways and include STAR Tollways in southern Luzon and TPLEX in northern Luzon starting January 2021.
The LTFRB directive covers public utility vehicles such as buses, jeepneys and utility vans.
However SMC, one of the very first private companies to support government initiatives in its fight against Covid-19, is taking it further by including all vehicles in all categories.
“We are committed to protecting motorists and our tollway operators by limiting personal contact and going 100% RFID on tollroads that we operate,” Ang reiterated.
Getting RFID will be convenient and accessible with 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.
Public utility vehicles (PUVs) and fleet accounts may visit www.autosweeprfid.com and follow the steps listed at the website.
Supporting documents are not required for all applications, including “RFID To Go” and website-based.
As of June 11, 2020, the RFID installation areas in Skyway are: Bicutan CSC, C5 CSC Southbound, Petron Commerce Ave., Petron C5, Petron Dasmarinas, Petron NAIAX, Shell Magallanes, C5 Toll Northbound, NAIAX Main Toll Plaza A&B, Old NAIAX- Drive Thru, and Skyway Main Toll Plaza (Northbound).
Motorists can avail of RFID stickers at these SLEX locations: Ayala Greenfield, Silangan CSC,Southwoods (Northbound and Southbound), Sta. Rosa (Northbound), Cabuyao Toll Plaza (Southbound), Susana Heights, Petron San Pedro, Shell Mamplasan, Shell Putatan, Petron Evia, Eton (Northbound), Filinvest, and Mamplasan (Northbound and Southbound).
RFID applications are also accepted at STAR Tollways locations at Star Toll Lipa CSC, Petron Lipa, and Petron Malvar. For TPLEX, motorists can go to Tarlac CSC; Petron Pura NB; Petron Pura SB; Carmen Toll Plaza; Pozorrubio Toll Plaza; and Tarlac Toll Plaza.
On the other hand, those who are already enjoying the benefits of RFID can also reload at several reloading stations including online facilities such as G-cash and JustPay.To.
Motorists can also pay online through select banks including: Bank of Commerce, Union Bank, Maybank, Chinabank, BPI, and EON by Union Bank.