The state-run Philippine National Railways (PNR) must first improve its services before implementing any fare increase but without burdening commuters to raise funds for the purpose, Sen. Francis Escudero said on Monday.
The PNR announced last week that starting July 1, the minimum fare would be raised from P10 to P15 for the first 14 kilometers. Then, there would be an additional P5 for every zone traveled or seven kilometers per zone.
When asked whether he supports the PNR’s planned fare hike, Escudero said, “They should first improve their services before increasing fares.”
“They can either borrow, ask for NG [national government]subsidy or enter into a PPP [public-private partnership] to do this. But I think it is simply unfair to make people pay for something that is yet to come,” he added.
PNR General Manager Jun Magno said the fare increase has been delayed for more than 20 years.
But Escudero said the delay is not enough justification to pursue the fare hike.
“Other than a fare increase, they should be more creative and innovative in looking for ways and means to first improve their services before beginning to consider a fare increase,” the senator added.