Visayan lawmakers support MRT-3 fare hike-A A +A
Thursday, October 25, 2012
MANILA -- The government's decision to slash by P10 the subsidy provided to metro train passengers would help improve the lives of people in the countryside, two lawmakers from Visayas said, as they expressed support to the planned fare hike.
Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya earlier said that Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT-3) fares will be increased to P25 from the current maximum fare of P15.
Representatives Mel Senen Sarmiento (Western Samar) and Jerry Treñas (Iloilo) said that it's about time that the government gives attention to taxpayers in the countryside who have no use for the MRT-3 but would greatly benefit from a small health clinic in their barangays.
Sarmiento said that whatever is saved from the subsidy cut would definitely go a long way in funding many government projects for Filipinos living outside Metro Manila.
"Our people in the Visayas do not use the MRT but we want to have paved roads instead of jungle trails, clinics run by health professionals and not by albularyos (folk healers) and roofed classrooms instead makeshift ones under the shade of mango trees," Sarmiento added.
Trenas, for his part, said that "Imperial Manila should not have a monopoly of subsidies."
The lawmaker from Iloilo said the fare increase should also mean a safer and more efficient MRT as the management can no longer have any excuse in terms of maintenance cost.
"We all have to share the burden of maintaining a safe and efficient public transport system. The people's sacrifice, in terms of higher fares, should be matched by efficiency and safety," Trenas said. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)