Deferment of MRT-LRT fare hike is riding public’s victory

15 Jan

The deferment of the implementation of the fare hike in the MRT and LRT announced by the Department of Transportation and Communication is a victory for the riding public. It is another victory in the longstanding and continuing struggle against the fare hike and the train systems’ privatization. It is the result of our non-stop protests and expression of opposition to this move.

This announcement signals a temporary retreat for Pres. Noynoy Aquino. His popularity is taking a savage beating because of his defense of the pork barrel system, his negligence over the effects of supertyphoon Yolanda, and the round of hikes in power and water rates, in premium contributions to the Social Security System and PhilHealth, and in the prices of basic commodities.

Aquino knows that an MRT-LRT fare hike in this situation would only fan the flames of public anger directed at him. It would send the signal that his government indeed favors big capitalists over the Filipino public. It would send the signal that his government is making the people’s suffering worse.

It is by now clear to the public that the planned fare hike is an added burden and won’t result in the improvement of the train systems’ services. The public knows that revenues from the fare hike will line up the pockets of big capitalists investing in the train systems and is a prelude to the train systems’ privatization.

We vow to continue fighting the planned fare hike in the MRT and LRT. We are glad that the fare hike has been temporarily deferred but we want it permantently junked. We will continue to fight until the fare hike is junked.


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