We condemn Aquino’s renewed push for MRT-LRT fare hike

3 Feb

We condemn the Aquino government’s renewed push for the implementation of a fare hike in the MRT and LRT. We condemn Pres. Noynoy Aquino for taking the lead in this campaign to increase the financial burden of the riding public, reduce government subsidy for the country’s mass transport system, and guarantee the profits of big capitalists investing in the MRT and LRT.

Contrary to Aquino’s statement, we believe that it is not unfair for Filipinos, including those who do not regularly ride the MRT and LRT, if their taxes go to the said train systems. We ask Aquino: Should the government stop building public schools and hospitals in far-flung areas because taxpayers from other parts of the country will not directly benefit from these? Should individual citizens pay for the full cost of all social services that they enjoy? Our answer is “No!”

Subsidy for the MRT and LRT can actually be reduced significantly if the Aquino government renegotiates the contracts for the train systems. It is unacceptable that big capitalists investing in the train systems – such as the Ayalas, Sobrepeñas, Camposes and Agustineses – enjoy huge guaranteed profits by bleeding public coffers dry. Following Aquino’s logic, subsidy should be withdrawn from him because he serves big capitalists, not the riding public and Filipinos.

The fact that the MRT and LRT are faster than the busses that ply Edsa is not reason to increase fares in the train systems. The government should really provide services that are cheaper for ordinary Filipinos but better than those provided by private companies. The Aquino government should take measures to decongest the traffic in Edsa and not take the heavy traffic there as a given.

We are calling on the public to condemn the Aquino government’s renewed push for a fare hike in the MRT and LRT. Let us express our opposition through social media and let us join street protests against this measure. We have successfully prevented the Aquino government from imposing this fare hike and we can continue to be successful if we carry on with our protests.

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