DAVAO CITY – Commuter group Riles Laan sa Sambayanan (RILES) Network staged a protest along the Philippine National Railways in España, Manila Monday morning to mark the first year of the implementation of LRT-MRT fare hikes.
“False promises are business as usual for the Aquino administration,” said Sammy Malunes, spokesperson for the RILES Network.
“The transportation and traffic mess only got worse and worse under Aquino’s term. It’s because improving the MRT and LRT is not prioritized by this government,” he said.
The group called for a Temporary Restraining Order against the fare hike, a petition for which the group filed before the Supreme Court one year ago. It also called for an end to privatization of rail systems and a government takeover of the LRT-MRT and PNR.
Malunes said fare hikes only target the poor.
A study as early 2007, showed that 67.7% of LRT and MRT riders earned less than P10,000 monthly, or P385 per day of the 26-day work month. Fares were increased despite significant protest.
“While the DOTC has promised no fare hikes for 2016, they’ve only done this because of the increasing public pressure,” said Malunes.
“They’re waiting for public pressure to subside before raising the fares again. We can’t let that happen.”
Malunes cited a data from the Ibon Foundation which reported that “around 2,000 families will also be displaced by the LRT-1 Extension and Operations and Maintenance project and 10,000 urban poor families aside from farming families will be displaced by the MRT-7 project in Bulacan, Caloocan, and Quezon City.” (davaotoday.com)