Cashless tolls started to operate today, September 1, 2023.
During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, amid concerns unrelated to the virus itself, a significant and contentious issue arose concerning the implementation of full cashless payments for toll fees on Philippine expressways. This plan faced substantial criticism and was postponed, but it appears that we are once again on the verge of dealing with it.
The Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) has recently announced that starting from September 1, 2023, another trial period for contactless (or cashless) toll collection will be initiated on expressways, lasting for a duration of two months.
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It is worth remembering that on August 13, 2020, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) issued Department Order No. 2020-12, mandating cashless or contactless transactions for all vehicles using toll expressways. Initially, this measure was introduced to minimize the potential transmission of COVID-19 and subsequently to enhance traffic flow efficiency within the expressways.
However, due to numerous complaints arising during the program's implementation, attributed to various constraints and RFID system glitches, the DOTr issued an addendum on January 29, 2021. This addendum permitted vehicles without RFID stickers and mandated the presence of cash lanes at all toll plazas, a policy that remains in effect today.
Will the cashless toll collection dry run be implemented at all toll plazas?
No. The TRB has released a list of toll plazas that will participate in the cashless toll collection dry run, adding that it will begin implementing the scheme in batches.
Following this, the Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC) announced its intention to implement cashless toll payments at specific toll plazas on the expressways under its operation.
MPTC currently manages a network of expressways, including the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX), Subic Freeport Expressway (SFEX), Manila-Cavite Expressway (CAVITEX), Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX), C5-CAVITEX South Link Expressway, Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX), and NLEX Connector Road. These expressways predominantly accept payments through the Easytrip RFID system.
Tollways that use Easytrip RFID
In line with this, the following toll plazas under MPTC’s management will only be accepting cashless payments:
North Luzon Expressway (NLEX)
- Ciudad de Victoria Exit (NB and SB)
- Sta. Rita Exit (NB)
- Pulilan Exit (NB and SB)
- San Simon Exit (NB)
- Mexico Exit
- Dau Exit (SB)
Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX)
- Dolores Exit
Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX)
- Technopark Toll Plaza
- Laguna Boulevard A Toll Plaza
CAVITEX-C5 South Link
- Taguig (C5) Toll Plaza
- Merville Toll Plaza
The same goes for expressways under the management of SMC Tollways of San Miguel Corporation (SMC), as well as Villar Group’s Prime Asset Ventures, Inc. (PAVI) which accepts payments from Autosweep RFID.
SMC Tollways currently operates the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR Tollway), Metro Manila Skyway, Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3, NAIA Expressway (NAIAX), and Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX). On the other hand, PAVI operates the Muntinlupa-Cavite Expressway (MCX).
ATTRACTIONS TO SEE IN MANILA
Tollways that use Autosweep RFID
In line with the TRB’s directive, the following toll plazas which accept Autosweep RFID as payment will be fully cashless:
NAIA Expressway (NAIAX)
- NAIAX Main Toll Plaza
Metro Manila Skyway Stage 1 & 2
- Nichols Entry
- Nichols Exit
Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3
- Del Monte Toll Plaza (NB)
South Luzon Expressway (SLEX)
- Mamplasan Exit (NB)
- Silangan Exit (SB)
- Tanauan Entry (NB)
Muntinlupa-Cavite Expressway (MCX)
- Daang Hari Toll Plaza
Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX)
- Rosario Toll Plaza
ACTIVITIES AND TOURS IN MANILA
Any toll plazas not mentioned in the lists above will continue to accept both cash and cashless (RFID) toll payments. It’s also good to note that vehicles with no RFID sticker passing through cashless only toll plazas will be required to install an RFID sticker.
In addition, once barrierless toll payments are implemented, vehicles with no RFID stickers or with insufficient balances in their accounts will be monitored through their license plates and will be charged once their vehicle’s registration is up for renewal.