MANILA – Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano on Wednesday believed there are no logical arguments to increase the fare rates of the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) and Light Rail Transit (LRT).
”I’m confident that when the numbers come out, we will find an empty argument of the government to impose this big increase. I can’t see logical arguments for the increase,” Cayetano told the Senate media.
Cayetano said the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) will have no choice but to stop the fare hike if the government fails to justify the P1-peso per kilometer increase for the MRT 3 and LRT Lines 1 and 2.
”I believe that only one hearing and we will find out that it (fare increase) is not justified, the government will have no choice but to stop the fare hike,” Cayetano said.
Senator Grace Poe has said the Senate subcommittee on public services will invite DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya to explain the MRT and LRT fare hikes without public consultation.
Cayetano said the Supreme Court (SC) should decide in favor of the petitioners calling for the scrapping of the fare increase in the country’s mass transit system.
The Senate official also believed that President Benigno Aquino III has been misled by his alter ego in the transport sector.
”I believed that the president has been misled here. I think the facts that are given to him, and remember, the president cannot go to all the details. Have they submitted the different matrix, the different options that they have?,” Cayetano said.
Cayetano said the Senate will use its oversight power to investigate and inform the public particularly President Aquino whether or not there is really a need for fare hike.
”We will do it (investigation) for him (the President). If it is wrong (the fare hike), we will present it to the people and to the President too,” Cayetano said.
He said the government should make special consideration to the people who patronize MRT and LRT “because they want to save money.”
”The commuters using MRT and LRT are not those who have three cars but are poor people avoiding traffic and higher bus fares,” Cayetano explained.
Cayetano said he is in favor for immediate conduct of the Senate hearing on the MRT and LRT fare hike.