A key official of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) said on Friday that “economic dictates” is the main factor behind the decision to raise the fares of the three rail systems in Metro Manila.
“Well, there is never have a right time for fare hike right? But as I said the ‘economics dictates’ that we [should]do a fare hike and now is a good year, this year [or]next year,” said Rene Limcaoco, DOTC undersecretary for planning.
The proposed P6 fare hike for the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) is being backed by the Palace with a promise that the adjustment would result in fares cheaper than those offered by buses, and will only be done when rail service has been improved.
Earlier, Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said that, “On my own personal capacity, I would also try to raise it up to our principals, of course the ‘balancing act’ of probable water and Meralco [Manila Electric Co.] hikes, toll hikes, MRT and LRT [Light Rail Transit] fares are all being considered. An Economic Cluster meeting would be called to decide on this,” he added.
Also, according to Limcaoco, “It has to go with general procedures. What is that, that is the indicated or the desired what we think is the good time, but of course we have to follow what is required, there is a public hearing.”
LRT Line 1 passengers are currently charged P12 to P20 depending on the number of stations traveled.
A distance-related fare structure is currently being used for LRT Line 2. Passengers are charged P12 or the first three stations, P13 for four to six stations, P14 for seven to nine stations and P15 for 10 stations.
“We have a proposal, then the final hike, the terms of the final hike of course depends in public hearing and in LTFRB [Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board] opinion. There’s so many stakeholders’ opinion in an issue like this,” Limcaoco said.
Rosalie C. Periabras