The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is set to release a decision regarding fare increases for the MRT and LRT trains this coming March, according to Transportation Undersecretary for Railways, Cesar Chavez. The DOTr is proposing an increase in base fare from P11 to P13.20, and an increase in the per-kilometer fee from P1 to P1.21, adding P4.50 to each commuter’s trip. However, this proposal has received pushback from various groups who argue that this will be an added burden to ordinary Filipinos, especially with the ongoing inflation or the rising prices of goods.
Renee Co of Kabataan Party-list expressed concern for parents who are already struggling with their children’s allowance for school, while young workers who have just started working after the pandemic will also be affected. The Kilusang Mayo Uno echoed these sentiments, stating that transportation expenses already eat up a significant portion of a worker’s wage and that workers detest any peso deducted or lost from their take-home pay as it means less money for food and other basic needs.
It is worth noting that in January, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board approved a resolution from the Light Rail Transit Authority to increase the fare by P2.29 and the distance fare by 21 centavos. However, the LTFRB clarified that although they have approved the request, the implementation of the fare increase has not yet begun.
Last year, the DOTr assured the public that it would not heed the private sector’s request to raise the fare due to the ongoing inflation that has affected many Filipinos. The decision to increase the fare will be a crucial one for the DOTr, as it will have a significant impact on commuters and their daily expenses.