Senator Sonny Angara called on the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to exert more effort in improving the experience of commuters by making their commute more convenient.
As chairman of the Committee on Finance, Angara addressed DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade during today’s hearing on the proposed 2021 budget of the agency and expressed his support to the actions taken to transition to cashless payments for public transportation.
Angara said the DOTr is moving in the right direction by making the stored value contactless cards usable in the MRT and LRT lines, EDSA buses and some e-jeepneys.
“Maganda yung ginawa na pwedeng gamitin sa bus, pwedeng gamitin sa tren, at later on baka pwede din sa mga jeepneys, sa mga e-jeepneys,” Angara said.
“I appreciate the efforts made for interoperability of the different modalities by the Department and they deserve the credit for that but hopefully we could further push the envelope for consumer convenience,” he added.
Angara noted how far the Philippines has to go in terms of convenience for commuters when compared to other countries.
Unlike other countries where a commuter can just walk to his or her destination after alighting from a bus or train, Angara lamented that Filipino commuters have to take another ride or two on jeepneys or tricycles after getting off the MRT, LRT or bus.
Angara also tasked the DOTr to look into how to make the contactless cards such as the Beep card being used for the trains and now buses more affordable for the commuters.
He noted how many commuters have been complaining about the high cost of the Beep cards, which they were forced to purchase now that the EDSA buses are using this system instead of cash payments.
Commuters were furious over how they had to pay P180 for the Beep card, which consists of P80 as cost of the card itself and P100 as credits.
Angara challenged the DOTr to push the envelope further in terms of affordability dahil sa panahon ng pandemiya ang daming naghihirap.”