Malacañang, “patting its own back” in commending DOTC’s fare hike proposal

21 Nov

Members of Riles Laan sa Sambayanan (RILES Network), Koalisyon ng Progresibong Manggagawa at Mamamayan (KPMM) and Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) held a protest rally this morning to condemn what they call a “calibrated robbery and deception by the Department of Transportation and Communications and Malacañang  to justify the unjustifiable increase in fares in the MRT and LRT”.

Deputy Spokesperson Abigail Valte announced last week that Malacañang backs the proposed P6 to P10 fare increase in order for DOTC to decrease the subsidy for the operations of light rail system.

“Malacañang has been very quick to commend the fare hike proposal by the DOTC as if they are independent of each other. Scratching each other’s back, they project themselves as considerate and understanding for proposing a lesser increase come January 2013. The truth is, it was a desperate move on their part to try to quell protests and opposition since 2010 through deception and misinformation. Besides, the commendation is more like Malacañang patting its own back,” said Sammy Malunes, RILES Network Convenor and KPMM spokesperson.

“The message of the riding public is clear — there should be no increase in fares at all since it is only meant to increase the subsidies for big tycoons and investors of the MRT and LRT,” added Malunes.

RILES co-convenor Herman “Ka Mentong” Laurel meanwhile cited the data from the LRTA which reveals that the revenues from passenger fares are more than enough to cover for the operations and maintenance of the MRT and LRT.

“According to an Executive Report by the LRTA presented in 2010 to Pres. Aquino, they are projecting the farebox ratio of the MRT and LRT to be less than 1.0. The Farebox ratio is determined by comparing the revenues from passenger fares with the cost of operations. However, the reports also indicate that the farebox ration is more than 1.0 which means that there are more than enough money to continue the operations and even fund the improvements to their services.”

 

“Present fares can pay for the operations and maintenance of the MRT and LRT. What they are scrambling to find funds for is the payment for the debts to private contractors and financiers like Ayala, Sobrepeña, Campos, Agustines and, recently, Manny Pangilinan,” Laurel said.

RILES Network and KPMM held a similar protest last Monday, Nov 19 and gathered signatures from the riding public opposing the fare increase. They vowed to launch more protests in the coming days and invited the participation of more students and workers in their campaign to once and for all, stop the MRT and LRT fare increases.  # # #

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