Lawmaker wants Beep cards suspended


A lawmaker on Friday asked the government to suspend its cashless payment system for public utility buses after reports of long queues at several bus stops at the capital region’s main highway system.

The bus stops had long lines of commuters trying to get so-called Beep cards worth P180 to ride buses, Party-list Rep. Arlene Brosas said in a statement.

“Just imagine, commuters, mostly low-income workers were forced to pay P80 for a beep card, P100 for load with a maintaining balance of P65 and a P5 convenience fee per load for third-party service providers,” she said.

“Not only commuters are being placed at the receiving end, but also some 300 payment collectors and ticketing inspectors who lost their jobs because of this cashless payment,” she added.

Ms. Brosas said the government should manage the ticketing aspect of transport systems, not private companies.

The payment system Beep is implemented and operated by AF Payments, Inc., which is a joint venture of Ayala Corp. and Metro Pacific Investments Corp.

Ms. Brosas said private corporations have benefited from an instant implementation of cashless payment.

Transport Secretary Arthur P. Tugade wants the reloadable card at Metro Manila’s busway and railway systems to be given for free to commuters amid a coronavirus pandemic. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza

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