Dismiss Ayala-Pangilinan’s AFPI not LRT workers – commuter group

26 Aug

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Railway commuter group Riles Laan sa Sambayanan (RILES) Network called on Department of Transportation secretary Arthur Tugade to rescind the contract with private fare collection concessionaire AF Payments Incorporated following the Ayala-Pangilinan led firm’s failure to render efficient service which has led to the dismissal of 41 Light Rail Transit employees last June.

“We call on DOTr secretary Tugade to rescind the government’s onerous contract with AFPI. This privatization contract has already resulted in unjust fare increases in exchange for a sluggish fare collection system. Now, their sloppy and futile service has caused the loss of jobs of 41 workers” Sammy Malunes, RILES Network spokesperson, said.

The Light Rail Manila Corporation dismissed 41 of its workers after the state-run company allegedly incurred losses due to unconfirmed ticket sales which is being managed by the AFPI.

“It is enraging that workers are being blamed for the failures of profit-greedy private corporations. It is the privatization contract with the Ayalas and the Pangilinans that should be dismissed not the workers,” Malunes said.

The commuter group insisted that the unjust dismissal of LRT workers are just some of the ills of the privatized setting of the country’s railway system and warned that further privatization of the LRT could lead to more burdens for workers and the riding public.

“Privatization is a bane not only to the riding public but to workers and the entire Filipino people as well. The onerous privatization contracts entered with private big corporations has led to burdensome fare hikes, deterioration of service, and gross violations of railway workers’ rights and welfare” Malunes said.

RILES Network challenged the Duterte administration to rescind all onerous LRT and MRT privatization contracts signed by previous governments saying the change commuters want is the nationalization of the country’s mass transport system.

“We call on President Duterte to end the rule of oligarchs in the country’s railway system. They have already caused enough ills to the riding public and the Filipino people. The change that commuters want from this administration is a nationalized safe, efficient and affordable mass transport system” Malunes said. ###

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