SC raffles petitions vs MRT, LRT fare hike
MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court on Tuesday, January 6, raffled off petitions against the fare increase on the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) and Light Rail Transit (LRT) a day after the first complaint was filed.
Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, however, did not name the associate justice who will handle the case yet.
"In accordance with the Internal Rules of the Supreme Court, the Chief Justice will have to await the recommendation of the Member-in-Charge," she said in a statement.
A total of 4 petitions have been filed against the fare hike, which the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) started implementing on Sunday, January 4 – a day before most regular employees reported back for work after the holiday season.
The first two petitions came from a group of progressive groups and private individuals led by Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), and former Iloilo Representative Augusto Syjuco.
The United Filipino Consumers and Commuters Inc and party-list Bayan Muna filed two more petitions on Tuesday, January 6.
The groups want the High Court to immediately issue a temporary restraining order against the fare increase for being unfair and ill-timed. The petitioners also questioned the basis of the increase, arguing that it is the government's role to subsidize public transport and plug fund gaps.
But Malacañang said the fare hike is necessary. In a Monday press conference, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said this will allow the government to reallocate funds to projects outside Metro Manila.
The DOTC resolution increased the base fire hike to P11.00 ($0.25), with P1.00 ($0.0223) per kilometer for the LRT 1 and 2, and MRT3.
This raises the maximum single journey fare in LRT-1 to P30 ($0.67) and LRT-2 to P25 ($0.56). Meanwhile, MRT fares will range from P15 to P28 ($0.33 to $.62).
Some commuters are in favor of the increase if it would improve services while others say services should be improved first before any hikes are implemented. (READ: Commuters speak up on MRT/LRT #farehike) – Rappler.com
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