MANILA - Sen. Sergio Osmeña III on Thursday said there has to be a Senate public hearing first before the government increases MRT and LRT fares.
"Not an inquiry to invesigate, but an inquiry to make more transparent the public fees or the fees that the public has to pay. Syempre gusto 'yang malaman ng publiko," he said.
Osmeña believes there's a need for the MRT and LRT and expand their operations in order to serve the public better.
"You cannot allow it to continuously dilapidate," he said. "Of course, the debate now is how much the government can continue to subsidize it. That has to be studied carefully because there's going to be a public outcry."
Transportation Secretary Joseph Abaya plans to increase MRT fares by P10 next year.
In a recent press conference, he said Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) budget for this year and next year was designed to provide less subsidy for the MRT.
Abaya argued that a fare hike is reasonable; from the current fare of P15 (from North Edsa to Taft), the MRT fare will cost P25.
The government has been subsidizing MRT fares for 10 years now and the amount of subsidy has already reached P75 billion.