11th-hour plea to defer train fare hike

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The government can start the new year on the right note by postponing the fare increase for the Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT 3), Light Rail Transit 1 and LRT 2 that will take effect this Sunday, until improvements to the train service are put in place, a congressman said on Friday.

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A base fare of P11 will implemented, with an additional P1 charged per kilometer.

Several groups led by the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) plan to petition the Supreme Court on the same day to stop the fare adjustment.

“It has always been my position that service improvement in the MRT and LRT (lines) should come first since it would be easier for the government to impose fare hikes if the people can see that higher fares are translated to better service,” said Valenzuela City (Metro Manila) Rep. Sherwin Gatchalian, also vice chairman of the House Committee on Metro Manila Development.

In a statement, Gatchalian urged Malacañang to first address controlling inflation, reducing poverty and other national concerns.

He cited Pulse Asia’s fourth quarter survey, which he said indicated that “controlling inflation” topped the list of most urgent national concerns, followed by improving or increasing workers’ pay.

Gatchalian stressed the need for genuine action on such issues.
“A lot of changes have been done by the Aquino administration, but there is still a lot of work to be accomplished before the President’s term ends next year,” he said.

“These concerns may be national in scope but they affect every working Filipino down to their very bones. It is high time for the government to set aside differences in order to work together according to the needs of their bosses,” Gatchalian added.

President Benigno Aquino 3rd early in his six-year term said the people are his “bosses.”

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1 Comment

  1. I believe this MRT/LRT fare hike is long overdue. Subsidy is not a wise solution to this creeping problem in the MM mass transit system. It will only result to penalizing the people in the provinces for the incompetence of the MM civil governments. If these MM citizens insist on subsidy, then let the MM government pay the subsidy. However, the real reason for the fare increase might be to discourage some commuters to take the rail system and instead take bus or jeepney rides. MM is receiving proportionately bigger IRA’s so these should be spent on solving their mass transit woes, like projects on subway system.