Palace: LRT, MRT subsidy to be alloted for Visayas, Mindanao
Patricia Lourdes Viray (The Philippine Star) - January 5, 2015 - 5:41pm

MANILA, Philippines - The subsidy that will be saved because of the fare increases in the Light Rail Transit (LRT) and Metro Rail Transit (MRT) will be allocated to projects outside of Metro Manila, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said during a press briefing on Monday.

"From P12 billion, we're lessening the subsidy to 10 billion (pesos)," Lacierda said, adding that the government has to allocate resources away from Metro Manila.

Lacierda said that the P2 billion that will be saved from the train systems will be allocated for projects in Visayas and Mindanao.

"We did not take away the subsidy, the subsidy is still there," Lacierda reiterated.

He noted that the decision to increase fares might not be popular to the riding public but it must be done.

Lacierda pointed out that President Benigno Aquino III had mentioned the need to increase fares in the LRT and MRT during his previous State of the Nation Address.

"For the riding public and Bayan Muna it is not a popular decision but it has to be made... we've been subsidizing the MRT for a number of years.," Lacierda said.

The Presidential Spokesperson assured that the services in the train systems will be improved this year.

"We can assure the MRT-riding passengers that rehabilitation is forthcoming. Rehabilitation has been planned this year. We are going to improve the services of the MRT," Lacierda noted.

A total of 48 new train cars will be acquired by September, according to Lacierda. This would increase the capacity of the trains.

The Department of Transportation and Communications is set to release a timeline of their projects regarding the rehabilitation of the LRT and MRT systems.

A fare hike increase was implemented on the LRT and MRT last Sunday. Groups are set to file a temporary restraining order against fare hike.

RELATED: Commuters complain over fare hike sans MRT improvements | MRT, LRT fare hike reaches Supreme Court

BAYAN MUNA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATIONS FARE LACIERDA LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT METRO MANILA METRO RAIL TRANSIT MRT PRESIDENT BENIGNO AQUINO PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON
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