DOTC Sec Abaya Says Money From MRT Fare Hike Will Go To Private Firms, Not Improvements

Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya admitted Sunday that the estimated P1 billion additional income the agency will collect annually from the MRT fare hike will be used to pay the multimillion-peso monthly fees to the private concessionaire that owns the train line.

MRT, LRT Fare Hikes Start In January
MRT, LRT Fare Hikes Start In January © PhilStar File Photo

Abaya earlier said the fare hike for both the MRT and the Light Rail Transit Lines 1 and 2 will result in improved services for the railway systems.

However, in a report from GMA News, Abaya explained that the income collected from MRT-3’s operations will go to the escrow account set aside for the payment of the government’s monthly dues to the MRT Corporation under the build-lease-transfer agreement.

“Kung ano ang maidadagdag dito sa pamasahe, pupunta sa escrow. Doon sa P600 million na [kulang] monthly, ibabawas kung ano ‘yung naipon for the month. Kung ano ang difference, yun ang ilalabas na pera ng gobyerno para sa month na ‘yon,” he said.

The announcement of the MRT fare hike received negative reactions from different groups following the series of glitches, breakdowns and accidents. Some senators also said that the DOTC should work on improving the MRT and LRT’s facilities first before charging passengers more.

In an interview with Transportation Sector Adviser Rene Santiago on GMA’s 24 Oras, he says: “Talagang mail ang timing at parang insult sa mga tao. Para bang sumama na serbisyo, tinaasan naman presyo. Ang makikinabang lang diyan ay ‘yung contractor nung rail maintenance,

The fare increase will take effect on January 4.