Alliance vs train fare increase launched

MEMBERS of various sectors has formed an alliance opposing train fare increase.

RILES or Riles Laan sa Sambayanan Network was launched yesterday in a protest action and signature drive at the MRT Cubao southbound station.

RILES is spearheaded by the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) and Anakpawis party-list groups, which represent workers and poor people who are the majority of MRT commuters.

“MRT, LRT, and train systems in general should be for public service. And they should remain so especially in these times when the public is already burdened so much by rising prices and depressed wages,” said Sammy Malunes, RILES Network spokesperson.

“If the train fare goes up to P25, as the Aquino government says, a minimum wage worker who commutes everyday would already pay at least P50 for transportation. If he spends a meager P50 for lunch and food at work, he will already be spending P100 for a day’s work. That’s already one-fourth of his P404 minimum wage!” Malunes explained.

He asked: “How will the workers be able to allocate for his family’s food, electric and water bills, education needs, among others?”

“Instead of extracting more from our hard-earned money, the government should do the opposite – it should provide more social services, which should include mass transportation through the LRT-MRT.”

Malunes was also a worker who served as union president of Pinag-isang lakas ng Manggagawa sa Metro-LRT(Piglas-LRT), a union under the KMU, in 1995-2000.

RILES also called on the Aquino government to scrap all plans to sell the LRT-MRT to private firms.  D’Jay Lazaro

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