[Monday protests vs MRT-LRT fare hike launched] MRT-LRT commuters asked to speak out against fare hike

5 Aug

Commuters’ voices echoed through the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) and Light Rail Transit (LRT) stations as they expressed opposition to the planned fare hike in the train systems in a Monday morning protest led by commuter group Riles Laan sa Sambayanan (RILES) Network.

RILES Network spokesperson Sammy Malunes said that his group will hold protests every Monday to encourage fellow commuters to speak out and participate in protests against the looming fare hike. 

“We call on every Filipino, especially MRT and LRT commuters who are mostly workers and students, to speak out and oppose the unjust MRT and LRT fare hike,” Malunes said.

“This is a burden to the riding public. The Aquino administration wants MRT and LRT commuters to pay more while it feeds Filipinos’ taxes to private big businesses,” he added.

The commuter group slammed the government’s justification that a fare hike is inevitable, saying the only reason for the government’s drive to increase fares is to ensure the billions of profits of private corporations guaranteed in onerous contracts

“This is not a bitter pill that we must take, but a poison that this government forces upon us to swallow. The government has enough funds to run the LRT and the MRTC has already amassed billions of profits from its commuters and from our taxes. The MRT and LRT fare hike would only further reduce the already meager wages of workers,” Malunes said.

RILES Network cited the P5.3 billion subsidy for the MRT that goes to equity rentals to the MRT Corporation (MRTC) and the P1.2 billion subsidy that goes to the MRTC and a foreign corporation that attends to the train’s management and maintenance.

The MRT contract also stipulates that big business will receive a guaranteed 15 per cent interest payment based on the computation of P60.00 per passenger multiplied by 350,000 daily.

The group meanwhile announced its plan to hold massive protests to show the Aquino administration that Filipinos are adamantly against the planned MRT-LRT fare hike.

“We are determined to stop Aquino’s plan to further burden the people. We assure this government that we will see to it that more and more people will participate in protests in the coming days. The MRT-LRT commuters’s voice should be heard and we are sure that they are eager to make their voices heard,” Malunes said.Image

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