MRT-3 fare hike to cut gov't subsidy – DOTr exec

By Raymond Carl Dela Cruz

December 1, 2023, 5:40 pm

<p>An MRT-3 train <em>(PNA photo by Robert Oswald P. Alfiler)</em></p>

An MRT-3 train (PNA photo by Robert Oswald P. Alfiler)

MANILA – The proposed Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) fare hike next year is meant to decrease government subsidy with the surplus funds to be used in other government projects, an official of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said Friday.

DOTr Undersecretary Timothy John Batan said they are eyeing to implement the MRT-3 fare adjustments next year.

“Yung fare hike sa LRT-1 and LRT-2 ay sinuportahan ng ating mga mananakay. Tumaas ang ridership despite the fare hike (The fare hike at LRT-1 and LRT-2 were supported by our commuters. Ridership increase despite the fare hike),” Batan said in a press conference organized by the Philippine Information Agency.

No fare adjustment was approved for the MRT-3 for the last eight years.

“Hindi tayo nagtataas ng pasahe ng walang dahilan, ito ay naka-tapat sa kinakailangan ng maintenance at operations para mabawasan subsidy ng government. Ngunit malaki pa rin ang subsidy na binibigay ng gobyerno dito (We will not increase fares without reason, this is based on the maintenance and operations cost and to reduce government subsidy. But government subsidy for this is still substantial),” he said.

The two other rail lines, the Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1), which runs from Baclaran to Fernando Poe Jr. Station in Quezon City, and the LRT-2 from Antipolo City in Rizal to Recto in Manila, implemented fare adjustments last Aug. 2.

The MRT-3 management refiled its fare hike petition in July this year, asking for the minimum fare to increase to about PHP16 from the current PHP13 while the maximum fare will go up to PHP34 from PHP28.

However, its petition was deferred due to technical lapses in requirements and procedures.

There is no specific date yet for the fare hike but Batan assured its announcement before implementation.

“Effectivity po niya, we will be making an announcement. Antabay lang ang mga commuters. Hindi po natin 'yan agaran na ipapatupad, magbibigay tayo ng advance notice (We will be making an announcement on its effectivity date. We will not rush its implementation, we will give advance notice),” he said.

Transport updates

Batan also provided updates on the progress of the MRT-7 and the Metro Manila Subway.

Trains for the MRT-7 are undergoing test runs as part of their testing and commissioning.

“Eight of the 11 stations [of the MRT-7] have ongoing construction. We expect that by 2025 we can begin partial operations, he said.”

On the other hand, he said the Metro Manila Subway is eyeing full operations by 2028 to 2029, with plans for partial operations at an earlier time.

He said part of the construction of the subway is ensuring its safety and reliability as it is the country’s first subway project. (PNA)