Solons refused to swallow the “bitter pill” being offered by the government of impending fare hikes of the Metro and Light Rail Transits, fearing that the hikes would lead to privatization of the transport system.
Likewise, the Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) warned that the government should brace for a ‘Brazil-like’ demonstration if fare hikes will push through.
Bayan Muna party lists Representatives Neri Colmenares and Carlos Isagani Zarate, expressing their opposition to the P25 fare hike, filed House Resolution No. 111.
“Before proposing any increases, the high cost of operations and the large amount of debt incurred by the project should first be investigated, specifically on whether taxpayers are actually subsidizing debt incurred by the private consortium that built the MRT,” they said.
According to the two legislators, the government should look first on the operational cost of the MRT and LRT lines and should see through if there are corruption in handling the funds inside the Department of Transportation and Communications.
“There is a need for the government to look into the operational costs of the MRT and LRT lines to check if there might be excessive expenses or mismanagement of funds,” they stressed.
The two insisted that if the fare hike is approved, it “would just further increase the daily spending of low-wage earners for transportation, leaving less for food, shelter, education and other expenses,” adding that millions of commuters depend on the MRT and LRT lines to get to work or school every day.
“Increasing ticket prices would most likely make commuters opt to take buses or other forms of transportation, translating to more vehicles clogging our major roads and more pollution,” the party-list lawmakers said.
President Benigno Aquino III proposed in his fourth State of the Nation Address on Monday the fare adjustment and that told the public to swallow their “bitter pill.” (Luisito Antonio Santos)