Probe eyed on train fare hike-A A +A
Friday, October 26, 2012
MANILA – A senator is calling on the Senate committee on public services to look into the plan of the Aquino government to raise fares in the Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT-3) next year.
Senator Sergio Osmeña III said the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) should explain the basis for doubling the one-way fare (North Avenue in Quezon City to Taft Avenue in Pasay City) from the current P15 to the proposed P30.
At least P7 billion in subsidies was spent by the government each year to keep train fares affordable to ordinary commuters but the government is bent on reducing this, making room for a rate change.
"Of course, the debate now is how much the government will have to subsidize it for. I think that has to be studied very carefully because there is going to be a public outcry," Osmeña said in a chance interview.
Senator Ramon Bong Revilla Jr., chairman of the public services committee, has yet to comment on Osmeña's proposal as he expressed his opposition to the DOTC plan.
"I am appealing to our National Government to reconsider its decision to raise MRT-3 fare. Next year is still not the time to burden anew the public," he said.
Contrary to claims of some lawmakers, Revilla said employees and students who are not Metro Manila residents are also depending on the MRT-3 for faster mobility.
"New year means new burden for the public. I think this is not a good present for our people in 2013," he said.
In September last year, the Senate adopted a resolution urging Malacañang to defer the implementation to increase fares in the Light Rail Transit and the MRT systems and the imposition of 12 percent value added tax (VAT) in South Luzon, North Luzon, Subic-Tarlac and Subic Freeport expressways. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)