COMMUTER group Riles Laan sa Sambayanan (Riles) Network on Tuesday called on the Aquino administration to junk recent fare increases in Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT 3), Light Rail Transit 1 and LRT 2, describing the adjustments as “anti-poor” and contrary to teachings of Pope Francis.
“If the Aquino government learned anything from Pope Francis’ visit, it should immediately junk its anti-poor MRT and LRT fare hikes. It is against the Pope’s teachings to further burden the poor just to fill the pockets of private big businesses and corrupt government officials” Sammy Malunes, the group’s spokesman, said.
Holding a system-wide noise barrage protest in different stations of MRT 3 and LRT 1 and 2, Riles Network claimed that the new fares that took effect last January 4 would only go to the guaranteed profits of private contractors.
The fare increases are “burdensome to us commuters who have long been impoverished by extremely low wages and high prices of goods and services. They are also unjust as they would only be used to guarantee the profits of private contractors as promised under onerous contracts,” Malunes said.
The network also claimed that proceeds from the fare increases would be used to fund President Aquino’s candidates in the 2016 elections.
It also called on train riders to continue protesting against the new MRT and LRT fares as part of living by Pope Francis’ teachings on “rejecting all forms of corruption which diverts resources from the poor” and “to break the bonds of injustice and oppression” that causes “scandalous social inequalities.”