Govt allocates P7.3B for subsidy to MRT

THE Aquino government is set to allocate P7.3 billion to subsidize the fare of commuters of Metro Rail Transit (MRT) for next year.

The average annual MRT fare subsidy is P5.4 billion.

The allocation effectively increases the state subsidy per passenger of P45 to P47.77 per commuter or up by P2.70 per passenger.

A total 414,000 commuters ride the MRT on a daily basis.

The increase in MRT subsidy is reflected in the budget of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) for next year, which would climb by 88.4 percent to P32.4 billion from P17.2 billion this year.

President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III earlier admitted of an “inevitable” increase in fares of the MRT, citing the inability of the government to sustain the subsidy due to the high cost of its operations.

Aquino said he is awaiting studies on the proposals on the equitable fare that would be acceptable to the riding public while allowing a lower government subsidy on the train operations.

He said proposals to make the MRT fares equal with those of passenger buses while offering an easier and faster travel to commuters.  Dino Ng

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