The government is standing by its plan to raise the fare of the Metro Rail and Light Rail Transits (MRT/LRT).
In a press conference Wednesday, Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the riding public must take the “bitter pill” of higher fares to improve train service.
“These are the things that we are asking everyone, or the public, or the citizens to bear with us because…at the end of the day, it will be the citizens who would be benefiting” from the fare hike, Lacierda said.
The Department of Transportation and Communications, he said, is studying the proposal and the public will be consulted before any fare increase.
Citing what the President said in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, Lacierda called the proposal “reasonable”, saying that it could use the subsidy for the rail systems for other social services.
“The President laid out why we need to increase the MRT prices. We have been subsidizing the MRT for quite some time,” he said. “So we are—or DOTC is currently studying the MRT rates.”
Aquino said the government has been shouldering P25 of the fare for each passenger trop in the LRT, and P45 in the MRT.
“In the end, each and every Filipino pays a share of the subsidy. Whether you live in Mindanao or Visayas and not once have you ever stepped onto the LRT or MRT, you help to fund this,” Aquino said.
Lacierda said the riders will feel the improvements in train service once the fare hikes take effect.
CATHERINE S. VALENTE