March 3, 2024

The contactless and cashless fare collection system will be launched in Baguio City by the city government and a payment solutions company at the City Hall flag raising rites on July 13.
Mayor Benjamin Magalong and SquidPay Technology Inc. Chief Operating Officer and President Enrico Tamayo are also set to sign a memorandum of agreement to formalize the terms of the program.
SquidPay account executive officer Elmar Panganiban said in preparation for rolling out the program, they conducted seminars with the different public utility jeepney, taxi, and UV express associations.  
The mayor said the city is on the right track in pursuing contactless fare payment system considering the alarming increase in the number of transport workers infected by the Covid-19. 
Although most of those affected are in the railway business, the public utility vehicle sector remains at risk for using direct payment scheme that does not inhibit physical interaction.
The scheme that uses cashless, contactless, and seamless payment transactions through tap cards, near-field communication or QR codes is aligned with the new normal measures now being implemented in view of the continuing Covid-19 threat, the mayor said.
The system is also in line with the Smart City and digital transformation programs being pursued even before the health crisis.
The system is free of charge and does not impose charges for its transactions and for the device to be used by the PUVs.
For those who will use the tap card fare payment method, the company plans to set up business centers or booths in strategic places in the city including terminals and barangay halls to sell or load tap cards that can be used to pay for the fares. One booth had been put up at City Hall last July 7.
Panganiban said a card costs P100 with P45 as initial load and P55 as deposit or maintaining balance, which is refundable once the client surrenders the card. – Aileen P. Refuerzo