Commuters of the MRT on EDSA are forced to walk on the tracks going to the next station after the train they were on malfunctioned on Thursday. (Photo by Janess Ann J. Ellao / Bulatlat.com)
MANILA — Amid intensifying calls againsts the impending 56% fare increase in the train systems, the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) criticized the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) management and Malacañang for using the consecutive accidents at the MRT to justify the proposed hikes, calling it an act of desperation and heartlessness.
“Increasing fares and privatizing the train systems will not necessarily translate to better services and less accidents. What is certain is that they will mean greater profits for capitalists. The fare increases may just go directly to capitalists’ pockets and not the maintenance and improvement of the trains,” Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairman, said.
According to Labog, the original MRT contract between private contractors and the government contains a guarantee of a 15% Return of Investment which goes to the hands of the capitalists instead of channeling this amount to the trains’ maintenance, leaving the public sector in danger of such accidents.
“The accidents fuel people’s suspicion that the government’s subsidy to the train system is not really being allotted to its maintenance, hence the poor state of the trains,” Labog said.
“To put a stop to these accidents, the government should subsidize the trains’ operations. The government is, at least in principle, accountable to the public while private companies are not. The government should fulfill its task of providing transportation services and not give in to corporations’ drive for huge profits,” Labog added.