Press Release
February 10, 2011


Senator Ramon Bong Revilla Jr. today joined the public's clamor and urged to the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) to finally abandon its plan to increase the fare of the Light Rail Transit (LRT) and Metro Rail Transit (MRT), and instead, find other means to address the P7.8 billion debt of the government to its contractors.

The lawmaker stressed that this is not an appropriate time to add another burden to the public considering the recent increases in oil and electricity rates, prices of goods and services and public utility fare. "An additional financial inconvenience is already too much for our consumers. We must do something about this," said Bong Revilla, chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Services.

He also reminded the Land Rail Transportation Authority (LRTA) and the Metro Rail Transit Authority (MRTA), the agencies created by the government to construct and operate the LRT and MRT projects, of its responsibility. He said that the they were apparently failing to pursue their mission of excellence in the provision of cost-effective and caring mass transport services.

"At present, the government is just facing a gentle public opposition to the fare hike plan. But if the increase pushes through, it will certainly turn to public outrage. We must not wait for this to happen," the senator pointed out.

The Public Services Committee chairman said he will ask the DOTC to submit a copy of the Build-lease- transfer regarding the LRT and MRT as well as its financial record. "If possible, we can recommend renegotiation. We must prevent at all cost an additional financial burden to the public. They are already doing their share in paying our so-called P7.8 billion debt in the terms of taxpayers' money," he explained.

He further warned that the implementation of the fare hike will not solve the problem. "After the fare increase, expect decrease in the number of LRT and MRT commuters. This would result in the increase of PUV passengers and slow movement of our labor force. Definitely, this will not be good to the economy," he added.

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