RILES Network slams resurrection of MRT fare hike plan; Warns of heightened protest over government neglect and collusion with big tycoons

22 Oct

“We’ll bring the battle back to the streets.”

Thus said Riles Laan sa Sambayanan (RILES Network) convenor Sammy Malunes as the group protested the resurrection of the plan to raise fares of the busiest metro railway line in the country. The RILES Network has actively campaigned for the junking of any increase in fares since 2010, citing the welfare of the riding public and the responsibility of the government to provide affordable mass transportation.
“The government suspended its implementation of the fare hike only temporarily and just waited for protests to subside. But the students, workers and the public who are dependent on the MRT for affordable transportation will not waver from protesting as the government resurrects its evil plans,” Malunes said.
Malunes added that existing economic indicators show that Filipinos will not be able to afford any further increase in daily expenditures for transportation. “Hunger incidence and joblessness in the country remain highest in the Southeast Asian region. Prices are skyrocketing while the wages of workers plummet to all time lows.”
The RILES Network also expressed alarm over the entry of controversial business tycoon Manny Pangilinan (MVP) into the transportation service sector.
RILES co-convenor Herman “Mentong” Laurel said, “The MRT fare hike revival is in line with the government’s plan to completely give up the control over the metro rail system to Metro Pacific Investement Corporation and Ayala Corp. The public should be wary of the irregularities in the board meetings of the MRTC where MVP’s group virtually dictated decisions on the all aspects of MRTC’s  operations. Is MVP in control of the DOTC now?”
Meanwhile, the chairman of Anti-Trapo Movement, Leon Peralta also warned of the connivance between Pres. Aquino and MVP in the implementation of Public-Private Partnership projects, claiming it is detrimental to the interest of the riding public.
“Providing basic social services should be the business of the government and must be kept away from businessmen whose sole interest is to rake in as much profits from the people’s pockets as they possibly can. We pay our taxes and, in return, the government must do its duty to provide for its people,” Estrella added.
 
The RILES Network called on all patriotic Filipinos to join the fight against fare increases and the privatization of the country’s railway system. It called on students, workers and professionals to launch activities, signature campaigns and protest actions in all forms to fight privatization and assert that it is the government’s responsibility to provide affordable public transport. #
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