Palace says MRT, LRT fare hike plan based on studies

By , on October 8, 2014

Passengers desperate to catch a ride. (Photo courtesy of PhotoBucket owner)
Passengers desperate to catch a ride. (Photo courtesy of PhotoBucket owner)

MANILA — Malacanang on Wednesday assured the public that plans to increase fare rate of the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) and Light Rail Transit (LRT) are based on careful studies.

Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda, in a briefing said, there is really a need to increase fare rates on both train systems because these are currently being subsidized by the government.

”We are balancing the interest. We are balancing the use of the money collected from the countrymen and we believe that the taxes collected should be applied equitably to all our countrymen,” he said.

Lacierda also noted that the management of both trains need additional funding for the much-needed maintenance and rehabilitation these public transport system, among others.

He said the Aquino administration is recognizing the problem of the seemingly normal temporary stoppage of MRT operations because of technical and physical problems on the rails and the trains, and assured these are being addressed.

”We are moving. The DOTC (Department of Transportation and Communications) is doing measures to ensure that at some point in time, next year, we are gonna acquire the coaches, we are going to better the operation and maintenance as we are now handling the operation and maintenance of the MRT system,” the Palace Spokesman said.

Earlier, DOTC said it has allocated P4.5 billion to purchase 48 new coaches for MRT-3, which are expected to be delivered to the country in 2015.

Meanwhile, Lacierda said the government is also addressing flooding problems in Metro Manila.

He said the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) are working together to implement infrastructure projects aimed at preventing flooding in the future.

“It does not come immediately because it will take some time to really improve all these systems but we are there now. Again, as in any infrastructure project, it will take some time to finish it but once we finish all these, it will better our system, our waterways. It will minimize the flooding in the areas concerned,” he said.

”We are doing it now. We are solving it now so that in the future we will be able to minimize all these inconveniences to the public,” he added.