Sec. Tugade: Digitalization, Answer To Transportation Under ‘New Normal’

Sec. Tugade: Digitalization, Answer To Transportation Under ‘New Normal’

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As the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) continues to spread across the globe, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Wednesday said its policies on transportation will focus on digitalization as the country navigates the “new normal.”

During the online pre-State of the Nation Address forum on Wednesday, DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said health protocols will remain for the duration of the country’s new normal, and digitalization will be key in balancing these protocols with the country’s need for transportation.

“Digitalization. Dun po papunta at tinutumbok ng Kagawaran ng Transportasyon (That’s where we’re going and that’s what we aim for at DOTr),” Tugade said.

Aside from its industrial benefits such as the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board’s (LTFRB) use of robots in manufacturing license plates, he said the LTFRB has also begun the use of cashless payments in public transportation.

At the Land Transportation Office (LTO), he said online registration of driver’s licenses has already begun which also includes other transactions such as renewal of licenses and registration of vehicles.

He also cited the mandatory use of radio frequency identification (RFID) at tollways to further lessen physical contact.

This would include, he said, the consolidation of all tollways into one RFID system so that drivers would only need one RFID to use all tollways.

“Isang sistema lang at puro RFID na lang para cashless ng sa ganun ay matugunan din ho yung pangangailangan ng DOH [Department of Health] at IATF [Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases] (Only one system and all using RFID so we’re cashless. This would address the needs of the DOH and the IATF),” Tugade said.

For maritime transportation, he said electronic ticketing will be rolled out around December that would not only promote health protocols but would also prevent past dangers such as overloading and ticket scalpers.

“In fact, sa July 15, yung online payment ng PPA [Philippine Ports Authority] ay mag-uumpisa na (In fact, on July 15, the online payment of the PPA will begin),” Tugade said.

He added that online purchasing of tickets is also being eyed for rail services such as the Metro Rail Transit Line 3. (PNA)

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