Palace: No stopping MRT, LRT fare hikes; VAT on toll

By Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 26 2011 03:02 PM | Updated as of Sep 27 2011 01:11 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang is determined to push through with its plan to reduce the government subsidy for MRT and LRT, and to increase train fares. There is also no stopping the imposition of the value-added tax (VAT) on toll fees.
“We are going to approximate the bus fares. It is not unreasonable for us to do so,” presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said.

Lacierda was reacting to a reported statement of Senator Joker Arroyo who warned of a “constitutional crisis” if the Palace insists on implementing the VAT on toll and reducing government subsidy of the MRT and LRT, which a number of senators have opposed.
“Senator Joker Arroyo would be in agreement with us na yung itataas pong pamasahe sa MRT, LRT [na] kung itatapat lang naman sa pamasahe sa bus with the corresponding advantage of having a shorter trip, hindi naman ho yan hindi makatuwiran ang pagtaas,” Lacierda said.
Lacierda said the Supreme Court has also ruled on the legality of imposing the VAT on toll.
“I do not know how a Supreme Court decision can be classified as creating a constitutional crisis when a final arbiter on law has rendered a definitive judgment on that point,” he said.
Meantime, Lacierda said the Department of Budget and Management is open to hold a dialogue with the judiciary over its 2012 budget.