MRT passengers to pay at least P5 more-A A +A
Monday, September 2, 2013
COMMUTERS riding the Metro Rail Transit (MRT-3) line along Edsa will have to allot P5 more for their transportation fee once the fare hike takes effect, Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said Monday.
At the House appropriations committee deliberations on the 2014 budget of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), Abaya said an "average passenger on an average trip would pay P5 more."
The MRT-3 line traverses through Edsa from Taft Avenue in Pasay City to North Avenue in Quezon City.
Currently, a passenger who rides the first until the last station pays P15.
Abaya said, DOTC is considering an P11-plus-P1 fare structure, which will undergo public consultations.
"It's more logical that the more you use the facility, the more that you pay," he said explaining that P11 will be the cost of the base fare and commuters will pay P1 more for every kilometer thereafter.
According to the Congressional Policy and Budget Research Department (CPBRD) of the House of Representatives, the allocation of DOTC for the subsidy on mass transport system amounts to P4.1 billion.
"(It will be) used to pay for government obligations to MRT 3, as income generated from the fare box and non-rail revenues of the MRT 3 were inadequate to cover for MRT obligations – equity rental, maintenance fees, staffing and admin costs, special repairs and insurance," the CPBRD said.
The government has so far shelled out P75 billion for MRT subsidy.
Once the DOTC's plan to buyout the MRT for P55 billion is implemented, the payment for obligations will cease, the CPBRD noted.
In February 2013, the government an executive order directing DOTC and the Department of Finance to buy out MRT-3 from the Metro Rail Transit Corp. (MRTC).
"(The DBM and DOF) are the ones pushing for the execution of this buyout. Pag ganyan ang attitude, for sure walang problema sa funding," Abaya told reporters.
For 2014, the DOTC will be allocated a budget of P46.72 billion, which is 30.7 percent higher than its operating budget this year of P35.7 billion. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)