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Government vows transparent, real public consultation for the planned MRT, LRT fare hikes

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(DOTC logo)

(DOTC logo)

MANILA, July 24 (Mabuhay) — Malacanang assured Wednesday on the conduct of a transparent and real public consultation before the government adjusts the rates of the Metro Rail Transit and Light Rail Transit as mentioned by the President in his 4th State-of-the-Nation Address on Monday.

“Yes, you can be assured of a transparent, real public consultation. And they will inform the public, all the stakeholders. It is going to be a free public consultation,” Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda when asked by reporters in a press briefing in Malacanang.

The Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) is currently studying the MRT and LRT rates as spelled out by the President in his SONA, Lacierda said.

The DOTC will also follow all the requirements for the conduct of public consultation before a fare hike is implemented, according to the Palace official.

The President laid down the reasons why there is a need to adjust the fares of the MRT and LRT considering its toll on the country’s financial condition and the ability of the MRT and LRT managements to provide better services to the riding public, Lacierda said.

In his SONA on Monday, the President criticized previous officials for delaying fare increases in the MRT and LRT at the expense of public good.

The LRT rate is P40 for each passenger, with the government subsidizing P25 for every LRT passenger. Every passenger only pays P15 per ride.

MRT’s original fare rate is P60 but every passenger only pays P15. This means the government shoulders P45 for every passenger.

“Nasa Mindanao ka o Visayas ka man, na ni minsan ay hindi nakatuntong sa LRT o MRT, kasama ka sa pumapasan nito,” President Aquino said.

Former officials have also given away the commercial development rights for the LRT and MRT, which could generate advertizing revenues that could augment LRT and MRT operations.

“Ang puwede sanang pagkunan ng pantustos sa maintenance at operasyon, nawala pa.

Siguro naman po, makatuwirang ilapit man lang natin sa ibinabayad sa aircon bus ang pasahe ng LRT at MRT, upang maituon ang subsidiya sa iba pang serbisyong panlipunan,” the President said. (MNS)

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