MANILA, Philippines - Transportation Secretary Emilio Abaya announced Wednesday that the Land Rail Transportation Authority (LRTA) has approved the proposed increase in Light Rail Transit (LRT) and Metro Rail Transit (MRT) fares.
A P5 increase in regular fares in LRT Lines 1 and 2 and MRT Line 3 running across Metro Manila can be imposed as early as August.
Abaya, who also chairs LRTA, said the agency is scheduling public consultations before the implementation of adjusted fares.
Transportation officials are also targeting to implement a P5-increase in 2014 amid protests the the fare hike is a burden to commuters.
Abay said that Aquino has given the agencies a go-signal to schedule the hike.
The Transportation chief previously explained that the raise in train charges have long been delayed since 2002 and will contribute greatly to improvement in LRT and MRT facilities and pay debts to private train contractors.
Aquino has long pressed for the increase, which he reiterated in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) last Monday.
"It is only reasonable for us to move the fares of the MRT and LRT closer to the fares of air-conditioned buses, so that the government subsidy for the MRT and LRT can be used for other social services," he said.
Aquino explained that the real cost of an LRT ride is P40 with government shouldering P25 of the fare. An MRT trip, meanwhile, costs P60 with the state subsidizing P45 of it.
"What’s worse: because past leaders gave away our commercial development rights, each peso that we can earn from the posters and billboards in the stations goes to private companies," he said.