Haven’t switched to using RFID for expressways and tollways in the country yet? Better do so soon. And no, this isn’t just for users of the NLEx (North Luzon Expressway) Easytrip tag which is set to be phased out this September. Instead, this goes for everyone who uses toll roads and expressways across the country.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has announced that all motorists will be required to go cashless when using toll roads and expressways in the future. According to the DOTr, the move will help contain the spread of COVID-19 as it limits human intervention. More importantly, however, it will help improve the flow of traffic and reduce congestion at toll plazas.

In a statement released by the DOTr, “Under Department Order 2020-012, which was signed on August 13 by DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade, concerned agencies of the DOTr were ordered to formulate new processes and procedures within three months to ensure the smooth implementation of the new policy”.

As covered by the Department Order, the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) and the Land Transportation Office (LTO), among other government agencies were ordered to find ways of implementing a fully cashless system along expressways. Along with private vehicles, public utility vehicles (PUVs) will also be required to use and install electronic tags or use of other forms of cashless systems in their units.

“We carry with us the burden of ensuring that our transport facilities will not be a transmission vector of the disease, while at the same time, providing an efficient system of public transport. With both tasks at hand, there is a need to strike a balance. Requiring contactless transactions is one of our ways of doing it,” said Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade.

As part of the Department Order, contactless transactions will be implemented in South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), Manila-Cavite Toll Expressway (CAVITEX), North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), South Metro Manila Skyway, Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR) Tollway, Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX), Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX), and all other road networks, including any extensions.

So if you’re still used to paying cash and lining up to pay for toll, we suggest you switch to RFID very soon. Hopefully, by the time full cashless systems are fully implemented, the RFID readers at toll plazas can detect and open the toll gate much faster.