MANILA, Philippines – No date has been set for the implementation of the fare increase for the Light Rail Transit (LRT) and Metro Rail Transit (MRT), the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) said.
DOTC also said the amount of the fare hike has not yet been finalized.
Transportation Secretary Jun Abaya issued the statement following reports that the privatization of the LRT-1 Cavite extension project will result to a fare increase effective August 1.
He clarified that the proposed P 11+1 fare increase for the two LRT lines and MRT-3 is not dependent on the P65 billion public-private partnership project.
A proposed fare increase for the mass transit system has been pending since 2010 to improve facilities and services to the riding public, the DOTC stressed.
Abaya also stressed that the bidding process was fully in accordance with law, and recent issues raised are merely attempts to “block progress.”
“This is clearly an attempt to block progress. The project will give residents of Paranaque, Las Pinas, and Cavite convenient and affordable transportation to the metropolis. Those who cannot afford to live in the business districts and economic centers will be given access to jobs and educational opportunities. Intrigues shouldn’t prevail over the interest of the riding public,” Abaya said.
The lone bidder for the project, a consortium composed of Ayala Corp., Metro Pacific Investments Corp., and Macquarie, offered to pay the government P9.35 billion to undertake the project.
The LRTA board is expected to hold a meeting next week to discuss the offer.
The offer will have to be approved first by the joint Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) of the DOTC and the LRTA.
It will then have to be ratified by the LRTA board before Abaya gives the final approval.
“We disagree with the assertion that this project does not need to be awarded yet. We cannot honestly say this to the riding public who have been waiting for this project for many years, those whose lives will be uplifted with the opportunities and quality of life that the project presents,” Abaya said.