It’s a go for single ticketing system
BY CHRISTIAN CROW MAGHANOY
The Manila Times
THE Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Tuesday said it will procure handheld devices for the implementation in February 2023 of a single ticketing system for Metro Manila. These devices will be connected with traffic management offices of local government units (LGUs) and Land Transportation Office (LTO) systems based on the final draft of the Metro Manila Traffic Code, MMDA Chairman Romando Artes said. “The good thing is that we agreed that the MMDA will fund the procurement of these [handheld devices] to facilitate all actions needed in order to fully implement this single ticketing system, including the inter-connectivity between the LGUs and the LTO,” Artes said in an interview with The Manila Times. “[Tickets] will be issued through a handheld device and violations will be automatically reflected in the LTO systems in real time,” he added. The single ticketing system’s draft will have to be approved by a technical working group that will then be endorsed to the Metro Manila Council for implementation, he added. The LTO’s central database will handle the inter-connectivity of the LGUs’ traffic control agencies where all traffic violations will be reflected in the LTO systems. Artes said the ticketing system will facilitate easier payment of fines for traffic violations as it will accredit payment centers or different payment applications, especially for those from the provinces who commit traffic violations in Metro Manila. “So they (violators) can renew their licenses without paying penalties [in person] and at the same time the LGUs can now collect the fees through Bayad Centers because of this interconnectivity,” he added. Artes said the MMDA, the LGUs and the LTO will come up with a final list of penalties for the 20 most common traffic violations. The penalties will be enforced by all Metro Manila local government units. “We tried to balance the different penalties that the LGUs were imposing. We tried to find the middle ground, but rest assured that these penalties are much lower than the penalties provided under the LTO law,” Artes said. “We will no longer go to our local government units to pay the fines, which is the practice now. With this integration, they [violators] can pay in areas near their homes, like Bayad Centers or through GCash or through bank payments pursuant to the instruction of the President,” he added. Traffic violations committed under the system will subject a driver’s license to demerits. Those with no traffic violations, meanwhile, will be issued a 10-year driver’s license upon renewal. “Because if you already have 10 demerit points, your driver’s license will be confiscated and suspended per LTO law,” Artes said. He also said the enforcement of the system would clear the “seeming conflict” between a Department of the Interior and Local Government memorandum circular that prohibits the confiscation of driver’s licenses and the authority of the LGUs to confiscate them. “I hope they will support those programs with the MMDA because it is 28 years in the making. I hope finally under President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. that this [new ticketing system] will be finalized and fully implemented,” Artes added.