A planned fare adjustment at the Philippine National Railway (PNR) met no opposition at the Senate and was in fact supported by Sen. Joseph Victor Ejercito.
Ejercito on Wednesday noted that compared to the fare hikes at the Light Rail Transit 1, LRT 2 and Metro Rail Transit 3, which have been receiving yearly subsidies from the government in billions of pesos, the proposal to increase PNR fare from P10 to P15 is justifiable since it will pave the way for improvement of the train system.
“They have a very small budget so I will not oppose it. In the case of the MRT and LRT, we stand opposed to it. They have to improve first their services,” he said in an interview after the Senate committee hearing on the issue.
The PNR was supposed to implement its new fare rate on January 5 but it was deferred because the Department of Transportation and Communications wanted the train company to first improve its ticketing system.
Unlike the MRT and LRT lines that use plastic magnetic cards, PNR still uses paper tickets, which passengers need to present to inspectors inside the train.
Ejercito noted that the last time PNR increased its fare was 20 years ago.
The senator said he will lobby for the modernization of the PNR “because it will help ease not only the traffic but also the financial burden of low-income earners.”