THE Department of Transportation (DoTr) said it signed six agreements Monday with the Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) to support various projects, including the distribution of cash subsidies to transport workers, financing to acquire modern jeepneys and buses, and testing the automatic fare collection system.
In a virtual signing, Transportation Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John R. Batan said the department will avail of LANDBANK’s appraisal services to acquire about 10 million square meters of land for use by the Philippine National Railways (PNR).
The second agreement, according to Mr. Batan, is to distribute cash benefits to individuals, communities, or businesses affected by the North-South Commuter Railway project.
“We need to ensure that they are compensated in a timely and orderly manner. That’s why the DoTr and the PNR are entering into a memorandum of agreement (MoA) with LANDBANK to facilitate the distribution of cash entitlements,” he said.
Three agreements were signed between the department and the state-run bank for the distribution of cash subsidies for public utility vehicle operators and their fuel needs, as well as to test the automatic fare collection system.
The DoTr and LANDBANK will lead the testing of the fare collection system, which will accept MasterCard EMV-compliant bank cards for jeepney and bus fares.
LANDBANK said it will start pilot-testing the cashless system in February and also serve as an issuer of the EMV-compliant cards.
The cards will be tested on 130 modernized jeepneys and buses with routes in Metro Manila, nearby provinces and Metro Cebu.
“Itong card na ito pwedeng gamitin sa supermarkets retail stores at online payments. Interoperable po ito dahil pwedeng gamitin sa ATMs para mag-withdraw, pwede rin for bill payment at fund transfer sa accounts ng ibang tao (This card can be used for retail purchases and online payments, as an ATM card, for bill payments and fund transfers to other people),” LANDBANK Vice-President and Head of Card and Electronic Banking Randy Montesa said.
They also signed an agreement for LANDBANK to finance the acquisition of modernized jeepneys, with total funding of P3 billion.
The agreement also provides P3 billion for the acquisition by eligible cooperatives of modern buses in Metro Manila, according to Emmellie V. Tamayo, first vice-president and head of lending program management for LANDBANK. — Arjay L. Balinbin