Press Release
October 2, 2020

Cost of free Beep Card is just a blip in gov't spending radar

Beep cards for buses should be given for free to commuters. It is the right thing to do and both private issuer and the government can easily afford it. They have cash to fund this cashless payment system.

1 million Beep Cards at the reported non-discounted price of P80 each will only cost government P80 million. But this is an overindulgent estimate. If pegged to a daily bus ridership of 500,000, the cost will be P40 million. If limited to present EDSA bus riders, it will only be a fraction of the two figures cited above.

Even if we use P40 million, it is still just one-fifth of one percent of the P20.71 billion that a generous DOTR voluntarily cut from its 2019 and 2020 budgets and turned over to the government's anti-COVID fight.

It is one of the handful of agencies which waived at least one-fourth of its budget so it can be rechanneled to the war against the pandemic.

Kaya baka naman pwedeng ibalik ang katiting ng kanilang ibinigay para matustusan ang Beep cards na gagamitin ng mga commuters. Nagsauli ang DOTR ng P100, ang gastos sa Beep kung gagawing libre ito ay katumbas lang ng 20 centavos sa naiambag nito, o baka limang sentimo nga lang.

Government is readying billions of pesos to help distressed corporations owned by the rich. The cost of a subsidized Beep card for the poor is just a small blip on the spending radar.

This, however, is just Plan B. The best option is for the corporation that issues it to give it for free, or make it free until the end of the year or of the pandemic.

It is the best CSR of a corporation which has in its genes the tradition of solidarity and compassion which are again on full display during these perilous times.

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