Fare hike sa MRT dikta ng mga investors-casino

HINDI ang publiko kungdi ang bangko at malalaking kompanya ang makikinabang sa pagbabawas ng subsidiya ng gobyerno sa Metro Rail Transit (MRT).

Ayon kay Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño na tanging ang mga bangko at dayuhang negosyante sa bansa ang matutuwa sa administrasyong Aquino dahil hindi para sa riding public ang aksyong ito ng gobyerno kungdi sa interes ng mga higanteng kompanya.

“It appears that the government is taking the public for a really nasty ride by hiking MRT fares by as much as 100 percent to P20 – P30 per ticket, ” giit ni Casino.

Kahit sabihin pa aniya ng mga opisyal ng MRT na ang subsidiya ng gobyerno sa bawat pasahero ay nasa P45 at ang ginugugol ng pamahalaan dito ay nasa P5 bilyon taun-taon at ang kinikita lamang ay P1.8 bilyon ay hindi aniya malinaw kung saan napupunta ang subsidiyang ito at kung bakit kailangang magtaas ng pamasahe.

Paliwanag ni Casino na ang mataas na gastusin ng MRT sa operasyon at maintenance nito ay makikita sa “ onerous 25-year build-lease-transfer (BLT) agreement sa pagitan ng Metro Rail Transit Corp. (MRTC), isang kompanyang Hapon at mga negosyanteng Pinoy maging ng Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) na pinasimulan noong 1997.

“Apparently the so-called ‘government subsidies’ go all the way to banks: the Export-Import Bank of Japan, Sumitomo Bank, other Japanese and Czech banks, and local banks like the Bank of Philippine Islands (BPI). Curiously, the banks that provided the US$462.5 million loan in 1998 and the private firms that constructed the MRT have the same owners,” sinabi pa ni Casiño.

Ang MRTC ay kinabibilangan ng Ayala Land Inc., na pag-aari ng Ayala family na malaki rin ang share sa BPI bago ito hinawakan ng gobyerno noong isang taon.

Pinasok din ng MRTC ang Engineering, Construction, and Procurement (EPC) Contract sa  Sumitomo Corporation, na pag-aari naman ng Sumitomo Bank.

“Also, Japanese (US$278.5 million) and Czech Republic, ($88.4 million) lenders made self-serving loans for the MRT to fund their own corporations. Sumitomo Corp. sub-contracted to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries the MRT’s civil works, track works, and electro-mechanical work while the Czech Republic’s CKD Dopravini bagged the  manufacturing, testing, and commissioning of the trains,” ayon kay Casiño.

Nakakuha rin aniya ang MRTC ng malaking kita sa Trinoma Mall at Ayala Center ng mga Ayalas, na nag-uugnay sa MRT network.

Inihayag pa ni Casino na ang Fil-Estate Management ng Sobrepena ay bahagi rin ng MRTC consortium na noong 2000 ay nakakuha ng  secured a P1.4-billion investment from the Bank of America to develop high-rise real estate projects along the MRT system.

“These are what the government must be clear about to the riding public. What they are paying for is the foolish financial initiatives of government in the MRT and the immense profits being raked in by the banks and companies because of these onerous contracts,” Casiño said. Meliza Maluntag

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