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Sunday, April 21, 2024

Labor group to government: Defer train fare hikes

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A LABOR group has called on the government to provide transportation subsidies for workers amid the proposed “ill-timed” train fare hikes.

In a statement, the Federation of Free Workers (FFW) said an increase in the fares of the Metro Manila Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) and the Light Rail Transit (LRT) Lines 1 and 2 will impose an additional financial burden on workers.

“We are calling on the government to prioritize the welfare of workers by providing them with non-wage benefits such as health and housing assistance, as well as transportation subsidies,” FFW National Vice President Jun Ramirez said.

He  said the government can get funding for the subsidies from rents and advertisements within MRT and LRT facilities.

The labor leader issued the statement after the operators of LRT-1 proposed a fare increase of P17 to P44 from the current P11 to P30, while the LRT-2 management is considering adjusting their rates to P14 to P33 for store value tickets and  P15 to P35 in single value tickets.

Meanwhile, MRT-3 is considering a fare hike of P4 to P6.

The higher fares are meant to help the MRT and LRT management offset their loses during the pandemic.

FFW rejected the planned fare hike since it will further make it harder for workers to cope with the rising cost of living.

“Workers have already sacrificed so much during this pandemic. They have lost jobs, taken pay cuts, and faced numerous challenges to their livelihoods. We urge government to find a way to support the transportation system without putting more financial burden on workers,” Ramirez said.

Image credits: Ninlawan Donlakkham | Dreamstime.com

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