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Some automated payment system fees waived: DOTr

May 24, 2020 - Sunday 6:05 PM by PNA

Article Banner Image Public utility buses along EDSA (PNA File photo)

MANILA – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is encouraging public utility vehicle (PUV) operators to shift to the automatic fare collection system (AFCS) as it announced waiving the maintenance and processing fees for the system.

DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said the shift to cashless and contactless transaction is going to be part of the "new normal" in public transportation.

"Cashless payments will be beneficial to operators since it reduces pilferage and other losses. It also automates accounting and immediately provides ridership reports to the operator for analysis of its operations. This is a game-changer, as it enables the operator to further improve its service,” Tugade said.

He lauded AF Payments Inc. (AFPI) for deciding to waive its maintenance and processing fees.

"This would be a great help to our transport operators, drivers, and passengers," he added.

DOTr Assistant Secretary Mark de Leon said the initiative of the AFPI can help boost the income of PUV operators, noting that prior to the enforcement of community quarantine, AF Payments Inc. was charging between 4-6 percent of their daily gross revenues, as maintenance and processing fees.

"Before, if a bus operator earns P20,000 per bus a day, it translates to a P1,200 transaction cost daily. This decision of AFPI to waive their fees will be a big boost to the PUV operators' income,” de Leon said.

He added that the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board is now in talks with bus operators who are eyeing to consolidate their operations into a consortium.

"And with that development, they would need AFCS to appropriately manage their fare collections, and share the income among themselves,” de Leon said.

AFPI expressed support to the government in its bid to modernize the fare collection system of PUVs.

“AFPI is proud to support the efforts of the government to reopen public transport and is ready to equip buses and jeepneys with contactless devices that enable cashless ticketing and payment," said Chona Basilio, chief financial officer of AFPI.

"AFPI's ticketing terminals will accept the well-known contactless beep cards as well as GCash QR code payments. Many commuters already have a beep™ card, as AFPI has issued seven million beep cards since 2015,” said Sharon Fong, AFPI head of business development.