Senators back petition against LRT, MRT fare hike

Devotees eagerly touch the replica of the Black Nazarene during the Ist Friday mass with thousands of devotee flocking at the Minor Basilica on Friday January 2,2015 in Quiapo Church, Manila. (MNS photo)

Devotees eagerly touch the replica of the Black Nazarene during the Ist Friday mass with thousands of devotee flocking at the Minor Basilica on Friday January 2,2015 in Quiapo Church, Manila. (MNS photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) – Three senators on Monday voiced their opposition against the fare increase in the Light Rail Transit (LRT) Lines 1 and 2 and Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT3), with at least two expressing support to the Supreme Court petitions to stop the fare hike.

“Yes, I am against the increase as well,” Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero said in a text message when asked if he would support plans by some groups to raise the matter before the high court.

“There was no mention in the budget hearings of  such an increase and they have sufficient budget cover for the improvement  of MRT3. Besides, they should first improve the system and prevent all commuter problems before even starting  to think of an  increase,” Escudero, chairman of the Senate  finance committee, said.

“Additionally, I don’t think  they can tack this increase on hearings held way back in 2001 which therefore gives  rise  to  questions involving  the  absence or lack of due process,” Escudero said.

Senator  Vicente  “Tito” Sotto III, an opposition member, also gave his support to petitions against the  LRT, MRT fare hike.

“Yes, I do if it’s the only recourse left,” Sotto said in a text message.

Another opposition member, Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito, also protested the fare hike, saying  it  was ill-timed since it was implemented  at the start of the  year  and as the  country is preparing for the upcoming  Feast  of the Black Nazarene this week and visit of Pope Francis next week.

Walang puso ang bawat piso na dagdag-pasahe sa MRT at LRT na itinaon sa gitna ng malaparusang serbisyo na dinaranas ng mga pasahero nito tulad ng napakahabang pila, kawalan ng gumaganang elevator at escalator, at tumitigil o nadidiskaril na tren,”  Ejercito said in a statement.

Napakasama din ng timing nito na itinaon sa pagpasok ng bagong taon, sa magaganap na pista ng Nazareno, at sa nalalapit na pagdating ni Pope Francis sa bansa,” he said.

Ejercito said the increase would not have been questionable if the MRT and LRT services were as good as the services of  trains in Singapore and Hong Kong, which  are  being enjoyed  by  Filipino workers there. (MNS)

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