LRT, toll rate hikes to benefit majority of Pinoys — Aquino

January 20, 2011 11:51 am 

MANILA, Jan. 19 — The government's decision to raise fare rates at the Light Railway Transit (LRT) and Metro Railway Transit (MRT) and toll fees at the North Luzon Expressway and South Luzon Expressway was for the benefit of the majority of the people.

President Benigno S. Aquino III made the clarification in his keynote address at the 65th founding anniversary of the Liberal Party held at the Club Filipino in Greenhills, San Juan.

“Kasabay po ng paglalatag natin ng reporma ay ang pagpapalit din ng buong diwa ng pamumuno. Halimbawa nga po itong isyu ng pagtaas ng toll at pasahe sa MRT at LRT, na napakaraming bumabatikos (Implementing reforms needs strong leadership such as in the issue of the toll and fare hike at the MRT and LRT), he said.

The President said he is being heavily criticized for the higher fares that it seemed his critics believed they are still under the old administration.

"What some in government do not see is that we are doing this for the benefit of the people,'' he said in the vernacular, adding that the savings to be generated from not subsidizing the fares will be spent for social services.

"This will go directly to providing good service, improved roads and wide roads,'' he added.

The President also said that the savings can also be spent to build new MRT lines such as that which will connect to Cavite or the LRT South, Antipolo and San Jose del Monte in Bulacan.

The Chief Executive said these problems and difficulty in raising public transport fares was inherited from the past administration’s wrong policies, referring to subsidies paid by the government in the past for Metro Manila’s train services as well as the operators of the tollways.

He stressed that he is in government to make difficult decisions that will result in better services and not because he wanted to look good to the people. (PNA)

LAM/PCOO/ssc

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