Last week, Beep cards were officially made free following the passing of Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) memorandum circular number 2020-057. This is good news for commuters who frequently take the EDSA Busway but don’t have the means of shelling out extra money to buy a Beep card.
But what about those that already spent their hard-earned PhP 80 to purchase a card?
Well, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) wants Beep card payments to be refunded. According to DOTr Secretary Tugade, the refund can be issued by the bus operators and Beep card provider AF Payments, Inc. However, the LTFRB and DOTr did not give any specifics as to how the refunds to commuters will be done.
Per Secretary Tugade, the Beep card agreement was not a contract with AF Payment and the department nor the LTFRB. Instead, it was a contract between the bus operator and the service provider. As such, the talks about the refund should be settled by both parties. However, Tugade warns that his department will intervene is when both parties fail to resolve the refund issue.
To recall, the DOTr initially made the use of Beep cards for the EDSA Busway mandatory a few weeks back. However, after public backlash from the price of the Beep cards, the agency suspended it. AF Payments has since said it will give out some 125,000 free cards before the LTFRB introduced memorandum circular 2020-057 making Beep cards free.
Hopefully, it won’t take too long for bus operators and AF Payment to refund users of their PhP 80 for the cost of the card. Even though PhP 80 seems like a very small amount for some of us, it is a big deal for daily wage earners.