No discounts for seniors, PWDs in single-ticketing system — MMC chair
MANILA, Philippines — No discounts will be provided for senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs) with traffic violations under the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority’s (MMDA) single-ticketing system.
This was according to Metro Manila Council chairperson and San Juan Mayor Francis Zamora, as pilot testing on single-ticketing in seven cities — Manila, Parañaque, Caloocan, Quezon City, San Juan, Muntinlupa, Valenzuela — began on Tuesday.
Zamora said in an interview with Sakto that senior citizens and PWDs will not enjoy any discounts under the new traffic scheme and will have to pay standardized violation fees in full.
“Naku, pasensya na po ngunit ang halaga po kasi ay pare-parehas. Ginawa na nating unified na ho ang fines upang hindi na po magkaroon ng kalituhan,” he explained when asked about possible discounts for senior citizens and PWDs.
(I’m sorry but the [fines] are now uniform. We have unified all fines to avoid confusion.)
While digital payment options are now available for traffic violation fees in the seven pilot cities, Zamora said that traditional payment methods at city halls are still available for those who are unfamiliar with online banking and e-wallets.
“Doon na po sa mga mamamayan natin na maaaring hindi ganun kagaling po sa internet o sa pagbabayad online, the option po to pay physically is still there so puwede tayong pumunta sa city hall upang magbayad,” Zamora added.
(For those who are not well-versed with the internet or with online payments, they have the option to pay physically at the city hall.)
No interest rates will be applied to late violation payments “for now,” according to the MMC chairperson.
Zamora clarified, however, that single-ticketing regulations may be “amended” to include interest rates, depending on motorists’ behavior under the system’s pilot testing.
“Sa ngayon, wala pang policy regarding interest. But, again, that is an option— puwede namang i-amend ang current regulations kung makikita natin. As we go along, titingnan natin how to further improve,” he said.
(For now, there are no policies regarding interest. But, again, that is an option— our current regulations can be amended. As we go along, we will observe how to further improve the system.)
Single-ticketing a tactic against traffic ‘fixers’
Besides increasing convenience and speed of payments, Zamora asserted that online payment options will hamper ‘fixers’ among traffic enforcers who use license confiscation as leverage to collect higher traffic violation fees from unknowing motorists.
“Kaya nga ho mas maganda nga po rito— wala na masyadong human intervention dahil diretso na ang payment,” stated the MMC head.
(This is a benefit [of the single-ticketing system]— it decreases human intervention since payments are more direct.)
“‘Yung lisensya nga po hindi ico-confiscate eh. Kadalasan kasi ang confiscation ng lisensya po ang nagiging leverage pa ng iilan na makahingi, at yun nga po ang iniiwasan natin dito dahil puwede na kayo magbayad kung saan man kayo sa Pilipinas. You have options to pay online,” he proceeded.
(Licenses can no longer be confiscated. Oftentimes, confiscation of licenses is used as leverage [by fixers] to ask for more, and that is what we can now avoid because online payments can now be made wherever you are in the Philippines.)
Other cities ‘still integrating’
Only the first seven cities under the system’s pilot testing have integrated their systems pursuant to single-ticketing.
Other cities are currently still integrating their local systems and coordinating with digital payment platforms, according to Zamora.
“‘Iba iba kasi ang mga information technology (IT) systems ng local government units (LGU) bago po nagsimula ang single-ticketing system,” he explained.
(LGU IT systems used to be so different before the single-ticketing system.)
“‘Yung mga hindi pa po nakasama sa pilot testing ngayon… they are signing agreements with the digital payment platforms, upang ‘pag mahuli ka nga dun sa kanilang lungsod ay maaaring magbayad online,” Zamora went on.
(Cities that were not included in the pilot testing… are still signing agreements with digital payment platforms so that violators in their cities can pay online.)
The single-ticketing system is expected to run at full force all over the metro in the next “few weeks,” according to Zamora.
“I’m looking at a few weeks no upang makita nga natin [kung ano] ‘yung dapat ayusin, ano ba yung adjustment na dapat nating gawin upang pag sinimulan ito sa kabuuan ng Metro Manila, ay seamless na po siya,” he explained.
(I’m looking at a few weeks [before full implementation] so that we can see what needs to be fixed and adjustments that need to be made so that the system is seamless when it is implemented through the entirety of Metro Manila.)
The MMC will meet on Friday to assess the first three days of single-ticketing and to troubleshoot the system within the context of MWSS water regulations and changing COVID-19 status in the country.