Riles Network challenges DOTC: Subject MRT fare hike proposal to a public hearing

9 Jan

The Riles Laan sa Sambayanan (RILES Network) challenged the DOTC to subject the proposal to raise MRT and LRT fares to a public hearing, and reveal its collections from the rent or lease agreements from private concessions under its management.

According to Sammy Malunes, spokesperson of the RILES Network, the Filipino people has every right to demand a public hearing since the fare hike will gravely affect public interest. He said that imposing the fare hike in the absence of a public hearing is tantamount to grave abuse of discretion by the DOTC, the LRTA and the MRT management.

“We want to be heard. We also want to listen. But if the government continues to dictate on issues of great public concern, then we can only challenge them elsewhere. We will be launching bigger protest actions to stop these anti-poor fare hike impositions in the coming days. If the DOTC insists on the fare hike, we are prepared to file a case against them.”

Malunes however said that the Aquino administration is obviously gearing for the full privatization of the LRT I, LRT II and MRT III. Thus, our question to Pres. Aquino is “will you sacrifice our welfare for the benefit of courting greedy businessmen into the mass transport system? Or, will you listen to our pleas?”

Malunes also said that any increase in the MRT and LRT fares would gravely affect the public. “The present fare of 10 to 15 pesos just suits the average income of the commuters. It is appalling that DOTC USec Velasco attempted to belittle us by saying that the increase in fares is like reducing text messaging. Has he no knowledge that the average income of a family does not even suffice his daily cost of living?” Malunes said referring to the minimum wage of P404 vis-avis the daily cost of living of P957.

RILES Network plans to hold coordinated protest actions in all the stations of the MRT and the LRT and enjoin all commuters to the fight against the fare hikes. # # #

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