MRT/LRT fare hike, President’s move to favor business allies

Business tycoon and Presidential uncle Danding Cojuanco, along with partners Manny Pagilinan, Zobel de Ayala and Consunji, plans to buy the LRT extension to Cavite. The President is also seeking partnership with foreign companies like Marubeni Group of Japan,  MTD Samsung Consortium of  Malaysia and South Korea.mrt lrt fare hike

After the President’s State of the Nation Address (SONA), Budget Secretary Florencio ‘Butch’ Abad said that they’re planning to increase MRT/LRT fare up to P25. Following the enormous appeal from the commuters, the secretary revoked the said proposal. Previous announcements said that the real target increase of MRT/LRT fare is up to P60.

According to Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC), the total profit of MRT/LRT is still enough to finance its maintenance and operation expenditures. In 2010, the total profit of MRT is up to P1.916 billion while the maintenance and operating cost of the whole train system is just P645 million. Meanwhile, LRT 1 and 2 had a profit of P3.089 billion compared to its P2.928 billion maintenance and operating cost.

The argument that only the citizens of the National Capital Region benefit from MRT/LRT while other provinces are contributing to the subsidy is a distortion of the real notion of social services. This is a logical fallacy as if saying provinces shouldn’t benefit from taxes coming from Metro Manila, being the economic center of the country, as well and by using the age-old “divide and conquer” tactic creating a divide between Filipinos from the provinces and Metro Manila.

MRT/LRT commuters are now maximizing the famous ‘’selfie pose’’ in campaigning to revoke the proposed fare hike. The Guild is also encouraging the people to contribute in any creative way to protest against the unjust, profit-oriented and pro-administration allies’ proposal to increase LRT/MRT fare.

 

ragans@mailxu.com