RFID fuels gas savings for Philippines army

The constant rise in fuel prices may have reduced the fuel allocation for the Philippines' military, but at least radio frequency technology or RFID is helping reduce unwarranted and unscrupulous gas consumption.

Instead of giving away gas slips, military personnel are now issued key tags equipped with RFID chips that store information on monthly fuel allocation. The technology also allows the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to monitor gas consumption in real time.

These RFID key tags (referred to as 'keyfobs') are pre-loaded every month and used when loading up gas at the Petron station at Camp Aguinaldo, which has eight pumps equipped with RFID readers.

Fuel allocation varies according to military unit. But over the years, the allocation within the military has decreased because the budget stays the same even with the steady increase in gas prices, says Col. Bernardino Ricafrente from the Office of the Quartermaster General (OTQMG), which oversees the allocation supplies within the AFP.

The OTQMG issued keyfobs to more than 40 AFP units, which then issued them to individual users. The average monthly allocation per user is 100 liters, also depending on the kind of fuel (gas or diesel). When scanned through the reader, the system shows remaining fuel allocation.

'The system has helped reduce rampant distribution of gas slips even to civilians. And before, with the use of gas slips, users could easily get away with loading up more than what is indicated,' Ricafrente explained in an interview with Computerworld Philippines during a site visit at Camp Aguinaldo.