MANILA, Philippines – Groups opposing the fare hike for the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) and Light Rail Transit (LRT) said they will ask the Supreme Court to postpone its implementation.
In a report by state-run PTV, commuter group Riles Laan sa Sambayanan (RILES Network) said on Saturday, January 3, that groups will file for a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the fare increase on Monday – a day after the implementation of the fare hike on Sunday.
Samm Malunes of RILES Network said in a radio interview that various groups will be staging protests at various stations of the MRT and the LRT from 7am to 9am on Monday, January 5, before they head to the Supreme Court.
Apart from RILES Network, other groups that will join the protests include labor group Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP), which claims that the price hike will be disadvantageous for minimum-wage earners.
In a statement released on Saturday, TUCP spokesperson Alan Tanjusay explained that while the daily wage rate in Metro Manila is at P466, the fare hike will bring their take home pay down to just be around P322.
“The consequences of the fare adjustment will make the working poor remain poor. This very important piece of information was not [considered] in the government decision-making process,” he said.
The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) approved in December the uniform distance-based MRT and LRT fare scheme, which was slated to take effect on Sunday, January 4.
The new maximum train fares are as follows:
- LRT1 (Monumento to Baclaran): P30 ($0.67) for single journey tickets and P29 for stored value tickets, from the current P20 ($0.45)
- LRT2 (Recto to Santolan): P25 ($0.56) for single journey tickets and P24 ($0.54) for stored value tickets, from the current P15 ($0.33)
- MRT3 (North Avenue to Taft Avenue): P28 ($0.63) for single journey and stored value tickets, from the current P15 ($0.33)
Bayan Muna Representative Neri Colmenares earlier claimed that there was an agenda behind pushing the fare hike implementation on a Sunday.
“It looks like they really planned the fare hike to take effect on a Sunday. There’s no court, no Congress. Everyone’s still on a hangover from the New Year celebration. Only protests will greet the fare hike on Sunday,” Colmenares said.
The representative, however, believes that the protests from the public will really help in postponing the said policy. – Rappler.com
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