MPTC says barrierless toll system to cost up to P10 billion

METRO Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) said it plans to allocate up to P10 billion for the implementation of a barrierless toll system.

“This could range from P8 billion to P10 billion — all in all, the major components, removal of the roadside, information at the back office, vehicle classification,” MPTC President and Chief Executive Officer Rogelio L. Singson told reporters last week.

The first stage of the barrierless tollways will be the implementation of cashless transactions, followed by the interoperability or the introduction of the unified radio frequency identification (RFID) wallet system along expressways.

The Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) aims to implement the unified wallet system by July. However, Mr. Singson said that both MPTC and San Miguel Corp. will only be able to implement an interoperable wallet by October.

“At the latest, by October this year, SMC and MPTC will establish an interoperable wallet, utilizing a single ID. This initiative has received full support from the government. Before transitioning to a barrierless system, we require the government’s support,” he said.

Easytrip is used on MPTC’s North Luzon Expressway, Subic–Clark–Tarlac Expressway, Manila–Cavite Expressway, and Cavite–Laguna Expressway.

Meanwhile, Autosweep is used on the San Miguel group’s Skyway, South Luzon Expressway, NAIA Expressway, Southern Tagalog Arterial Road Tollway, and Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway. Autosweep is also used on the Villar group’s Muntinlupa Cavite Expressway.

MPTC is the tollways unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corp., one of three key Philippine units of Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co. Ltd., the others being Philex Mining Corp. and PLDT, Inc.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Ashley Erika O. Jose