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Unified toll collection accord signed

The agreement was signed by the toll operators with government agencies such as the Department of Transportation (DOTr),  Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Bases Conversion and Development Authority, Toll Regulatory Board and the Land Transportation Office. File

MANILA, Philippines — The groups of Metro Pacific Investments Corp., San Miguel Corp. and Ayala Corp. entered into an agreement with the government yesterday to unify the toll collection systems.

The agreement was signed by the toll operators with government agencies such as the Department of Transportation (DOTr),  Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Bases Conversion and Development Authority, Toll Regulatory Board and the Land Transportation Office.

The Metro Pacific Group is composed of the Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC), NLEX Corp., Cavitex Infrastructure Corp. and MPCALA Holdings Inc.

The San Miguel Corp. Group is composed of Private Infra Development Corp., Citra Metro Manila Tollways Corp., Skyway O&M Corp., Citra Central Expressway Corp., Vertex Tollways Development Inc., South Luzon Tollways Corp., Manila Toll Expressway Systems Inc., Star Infrastructure Development Corp. and STAR Tollway Corp.

Under the Ayala Group are AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp. and MCX Tollways Inc.

Under the memorandum of agreement for unified toll collection, the expressway operators are required to update their collection systems for interoperability.

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Through unified toll collection systems,  motorists can use their electronic tags from one toll road operator to another.

As for those paying in cash, the unified toll collection systems mean they only have to get a ticket once at entry and give payment once at exit.

The first phase of the agreement, which will take around six months from the signing of the agreement, will cover electronic toll collection using Radio Frequency Identification technology.

The second phase, meanwhile, will take another six months and cover interoperability for cash payment collection.

Transport  Secretary Arthur Tugade thanked during the signing ceremony the private sector for making the interoperability of the toll collection systems of expressways possible.

“What you have today is a project where government and the private sector contributed,” he said.

Public Works Secretary Mark Villar said the move is in line with the will of President Duterte to implement plans which seek to improve the lives of citizens.

“What unites us all is the goal to improve lives of Filipinos, help them come home earlier and spend more time with their families,” he said.

The tollway operators, meanwhile, said they are committed to implement the agreement  to enable seamless travel.

“Indeed, it took a long time to get this done. What we can assure you is that we will work very hard to make sure this agreement is realized. Motorists can expect better service because of this agreement,” MPTC president and chief executive officer Rodrigo Franco said.

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