Scientist group AGHAM – Advocates of Science and Technology for the People criticized the government’s decision to proceed with the fare hike for LRT-1 and LRT-2, despite widespread disapproval from commuters. The group emphasized that this decision shows a disregard for the prevailing hardships faced by the people, especially in light of the worsening economy in recent years.”Rather than push for a fare hike that burdens the public riders while benefiting private corporations, we urge the government to prioritize the subsidization of public transport,” said Cleng Julve, Campaigns Officer of AGHAM. “By doing so, the government can actively contribute to boosting ridership and stimulating the local economy, which is in dire need of support during its current state of recovery.”

The fare hike will impose an additional 10-peso fee for a roundtrip fare, meaning that commuters who travel to work five times a week will need an extra 200 pesos in their budget to continue using the service. This burden comes at a time when there has been no corresponding wage increase to address the rising inflation since Marcos assumed power.

“Transportation should be treated as a public service, prioritizing the needs of the people over the profit motives of private entities,” said Julve. She noted the positive impacts of state intervention in improving public transit and stimulating the economy, citing the case of Malaysia, whose railways remainunder state control that serves the interest of the people.

AGHAM noted that the MRT and LRT systems, being public in nature, should be owned, operated, and developed by society as a whole through the government. Unlike private corporations, governments are directly accountable to the people, and they have the responsibility to address their needs and concerns.“President Marcos’ apparent indifference to the struggles faced by commuters and the general public, who are enduring ongoing price increases in public services and basic commodities, is deeply concerning. It is evident that his current actions are exacerbating the situation. We call on the government to reconsider its decision and take immediate action to subsidize public transport, ensuring that transportation remains a vital public service that supports the well-being of the people and fosters sustainable economic growth,” ended Julve.###


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