Press Release
January 16, 2011

says he will seek legal remedy to stop the "abusive" increase

Senator Juan Miguel "Migz" Zubiri will file a legal remedy to stop the impending fare hikes for the mass rail transport systems. Zubiri argued that commuters are already saddled with several price increases of basic commodities and can no longer afford to pay additional transport expenses of about P480/month should the proposed MRT-LRT fare hikes are implemented.

"How are they going to pay for additional transportation expenses when their salaries are not even enough to pay for food and other daily needs? We may have to file the necessary legal remedies to stop this. Kung may iba't ibang grupo na dudulog sa Supreme Court, we will join them in that fight to stop the increase," Zubiri said further noting that the low-income and middle-income families will be mostly affected by the proposed increase since they are the ones who are using the mass transport system.

"Nakikiusap po kami sa ating pamahalaan na huwag muna ituloy itong fare hike. Since this is a government entity dapat humanap sila ng ibang paraan. Gamitin nila ang good fiscal management and improve tax collection. But when it comes to public utilities and public transport system, the government should bite the bullet and at least subsidize and assist the riding public kasi ang sumasakay po dito ay ang masa, the low-income families and the middle income families na talagang hirap na hirap sa kanilang napakaliit na sweldo," he added. According a Japanese aid agency's Mega Manila Public Transport Study in 2007 as reported by Newsbreak, 67.7% of LRT and MRT riders earned monthly incomes of less than P10,000. (

Zubiri has filed a resolution calling for a Senate investigation to determine a more acceptable formula for the twin fare increase. He also proposed that a gradual increase of 10 percent or about P1.50 centavos every year for the period of five years should be reasonable enough instead of a one-time, big-time hike.

"Yes they need to increase para makabayad and to improve their services pero dapat makatuwiran at hindi abuso sa ating kababayan. Itong 50 percent - at sa ibang areas ay umaabot sa 100 percent ayon sa kanilang matrix - ito ay abusive! Papayag tayo sa ten percent kasi in five years makukuha na nila ang 50 percent na gusto nila at that time tataas na rin ang sweldo ng ating mga kababayan," Zubiri explained adding that "if the government is able to shell out P21B for its conditional cash transfer program for the poor why can't they do the same to aid the needs of the riding public?"

The Bukidnon solon is also seeking insurance benefits for LRT and MRT passengers.

"The MRT and LRT are the only public transport systems that do not have insurance for their passengers. If they are going to increase their rates then they should at least pay for the insurance of their passengers in case of accidents," Zubiri said.

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