Party-list, sectoral groups ask Aquino to suspend MRT, LRT fare hike
Video by Tetch Torres-Tupas/INQUIRER.net
MANILA, Philippines–A party-list group, along with various organizations, has asked President Benigno Aquino III to revoke Department Order 2014-14 issued by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) which approved the fare increases for the Light Rail Transit (LRT) and the Metro Rail Transit (MRT).
In a letter to the President submitted to the Palace Tuesday, Akbayan Representatives Walden Bello and Barry Gutierrez as well as student council and sectoral leaders explained that the President has the power to suspend or stop the implementation of the fare hike.
“President Aquino is well within his mandate if he decides to put on hold the fare hike adjustment pending a comprehensive review of the scheme and its impact on the riding public,” Gutierrez said.
They said that aside from the constitution, the Administrative Code of 1987 gives the President the ‘mandate of control’ of ‘power of control’ over all the executive departments, bureaus and offices.
Under the new rates, passengers of LRT Line 1 from Baclaran in Pasay to Monumento in Caloocan City and vice versa must pay a maximum of P30 for single journey tickets and P29 per trip for stored value tickets, from the maximum P20 fare.
Passengers of the newer LRT Line 2 from Recto in Manila to Santolan in Pasig and vice versa must pay at most P25 for single journey tickets and P24 per trip for stored value tickets from a maximum of P15, while those taking the MRT 3 from North Avenue in Quezon City to Taft Avenue in Pasay City and vice versa must pay a maximum of P28 from P15 per trip for stored value and single journey tickets.
But Gutierrez said, while the hike would give an additional P2-billion income, P1-billion will go to Metro Rail Transit Corporation instead of spending for the rehabilitation.
Several petitions have been filed with the Supreme Court which seek to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the fare hike. However, the high court opted to hear the government’s side first before considering the TRO bid.
“With no immediate relief in sight for the riding public, we look forward to President Aquino to respond favorably to our petition and provide respite to the fare hike while exploring ways to spare commuters of the burden of the rate adjustments,” Gutierrez said.
Aside from Akbayan, signatories to the letter to the President includes Francesa “Iska” Dalangin, chairperson, Student Council Alliance of the Philippines (SCAP); Rafaela ‘Paeng’ David, chairperson Akbayan Youth; Ben Sumog-oy, founding chairperson, Building Alternative Rural Resource Institutions and Organizing SErvices, Inc. (BARRIOS); Rome Voltair Gomez, UST Student Council; Justice Balane, convenor, Students Rights and Welfare Coalition; Carlo Cabatingan, Bukluran ng mga Progresibong Iskolar-University of the Philippine System; Roland Keno Chua, Philippine Normal University Student Government; Analyn Sunga, Secretary General, SULO-Philippine Normal University; Tristan Lindo, Internal Vice President, San Beda Supreme Council; Von Yacob, chairperson, MOVE UP, University of the Philippines-Los Baños; Nikki Rementilla, President, College of Management ad Entrepreneurship Student Council, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila; Nancy Garcia, Santolan Riverside Neighborhood Federation; and Rosal Palma Peciller, Malayang Tinig ng Kababaihan sa Komunidad (MATINIK).
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