MRT, LRT upgrade to proceed even if SC stops fare hike
MANILA, Philippines–Malacañang on Tuesday insisted that the planned rehabilitation of the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) and Light Rail Transit (LRT) systems would proceed even if the Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order on the fare increases.
Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. devoted his regular Palace press briefing to apprise commuters of government efforts to improve facilities and services at the LRT and MRT.
Aided by a PowerPoint presentation, he said 48 new coaches were set to arrive by September, increasing the number of trips and shortening waiting time at the MRT 3.
Coloma said the government had already set aside funds for the rehabilitation of the MRT and LRT.
“(The rehabilitation) will not be affected in case there would be a legal action that will stay the implementation or reverse the implementation of the fare adjustments,” he told reporters.
“That’s why it’s important for the people to know that the government’s priority is to deliver efficient and comfortable service.”
Coloma said the decision to increase fare was coupled with a “serious program to improve facilities of the MRT and LRT.”
The government earlier said it would free up some P2 billion in funds because the fare increase would decrease its subsidy from P12 billion to P10 billion. But hard to swallow for commuters was an increase taking place amid deplorable conditions, particularly at the MRT 3.
Besides new coaches, Coloma said the government would upgrade “ancillary systems like power substations [and] depot facilities for parking.”
Also to be constructed is the North Avenue turnback while the Taft Avenue pocket track will be extended.
Coloma said the government would also improve the signaling system, overhaul 25 light rail vehicles and traction motors, and install a new radio communications system.
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