Palace to MRT, LRT fare hike protesters: Take non-NCR taxpayers into consideration

By Azer N. Parrocha

MANILA, Feb. 3 (PNA) — The proposed fare hike at the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) and Light Rail Transit (LRT) may seem unreasonable to wage-earning commuters, but Malacanang on Monday said they should try looking at the bigger picture.

Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio B. Coloma Jr. told a Palace briefing that what protesters would often fail to realize is that not all taxpaying Filipinos can utilize the MRT/LRT.

“We are aware that daily commuters are also wage-earners and that they will be burdened by the fare hike but the government has had a big investment in its operation and to sustain them are taxes from all Filipinos,” Coloma said in Filipino.

“The question is: How many taxpayers actually utilize the services of MRT/LRT? Not everyone lives in NCR (National Capital Region),” he added. “Those living in the Visayas and Mindanao do not exactly utilize them.”

He said that Filipinos living in the Visayas and Mindanao do not actually utilize its services, but they still pay for its maintenance through taxes.

“Sustaining the operation of these mass transit facilities are carried by all Filipinos nationwide even if only one region utilizes it,” Coloma said.

“That’s why, while we take into account the burden of MRT/LRT commuters, we also have to take into account fairness for all Filipinos, especially those not from here (NCR),” he added. (PNA)