New batch of beep cards arrives following shortage
MANILA, Philippines — A new batch of beep cards has arrived following a scarcity of stored value cards (SVC) in recent months, according to a Department of Transportation (DOTr) official on Friday.
In August, the DOTr told the public to brace for a shortage of cards. Beep card provider AF Payments Inc. (AFPI) previously explained that there were issues in the supply chain of electronic chips. The provider added that closing manufacturing sites in China due to the pandemic also contributed to the beep card shortage.
“Our concessionaire, AFPI, was able to deliver a fresh batch of beep cards. Kasi remember, the pandemic and the geopolitical disturbance in Ukraine and in Russia affected the availability of certain rare earth metals needed to manufacture chips,” said DOTr undersecretary Timothy John Batan on ANC.
While Batan did not specify when the cards arrived or if they are currently in circulation, he encouraged commuters to be careful with the cards they now have.
“We encourage our passengers and commuters to still, kahit na mayroong fresh supply, please still protect your beep cards, sayang naman. That’s a stored value, parang na rin siyang ATM card,” urged Batan.
(“We encourage our passengers and commuters to still, even if there is a fresh supply, please still protect your beep cards. That’s a stored value. It is like an ATM card.”)
According to the undersecretary, the DOTr’s contract with the AFPI is only until 2025, so they are looking into creating an “interoperable” system for SVCs after that. He said that companies other than AFPI might also create cards that may eventually be usable in railroad stations and buses.