Palace: MRT fare hike not a gov’t priority
MANILA, Philippines – There was no discussion on the possibility of increasing Metro Rail Transit (MRT) fares when President Benigno Aquino III met with the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) on Monday.
This is because a fare hike is not the government’s priority, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr told reporters on Tuesday, October 14.
“There were no discussions or talks about changing the MRT fare,” Coloma said.
He said what was discussed in the meeting was a DOTC progress report on improving MRT service, submitted by Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya.
“DOTC Secretary Abaya submitted a progress report on the programs they are implementing to ensure the safety of MRT commuters, including the improvements of the power system, the changing of the rails, the overhauling of engines, and the changing of communication systems," Coloma said.
Responding to questions, the Palace official did not dismiss the possibility of a fare hike in the future, depending on the DOTC's "future recommendations," but emphasized that “the priority of the President and the Cabinet are in giving concrete solutions in improving MRT services.”
The government has sought a fare increase since 2010 to improve the facilities and services not just of the MRT line 3, but also for Light Rail Transit (LRT) lines 1 and 2.
It has yet to indicate an amount for the increase.
The DOTC has received much flak lately because of the inefficiency of the MRT-3, which has been hounded with technical problems. Among the line's mishaps include an August 13 incident wherein one of its trains derailed, hurting some passengers who had to seek medical treatment. – Rappler.com