24 February 2011
Multi-sectoral alliance Koalisyon ng Progresibong Manggagawa at Mamamayan (KPMM), together with Riles Laan sa Sambayanan (RILES) Network and other progressive organizations gathered today to protest the impending MRT-LRT fare hike, in time for the anniversary of Edsa People Power 1.
KPMM is an alliance of public and private sector workers pushing for a substantial wage hike, while the RILES Network is a broad network opposing the proposed MRT-LRT fare hike.
The groups gathered at the MRT Cubao station along Edsa and marched to the historic Edsa Shrine to join other sectors that commemorating People Power 1 and also protesting the train fare hike.
“We are warning Pres. Aquino of a People Power vs. MRT-LRT fare hike, which will take various forms but will definitely be directed at his government. The MRT-LRT fare hike may spark the people’s outrage after years of skyrocketing prices of oil, basic commodities and services and below-survival wage levels,” said Ferdie Gaite, KPMM co-convenor.
Data showed that the bulk of the commuters using the train systems, who would be most affected by the fare hike, are low-wage earners, students and other vulnerable groups. A study by the Mega Manila Public Transport showed that 68.1% of weekday MRT-LRT commuters are low-wage earners whose income fall below P10,000 monthly and a significant 15.3% earn nothing at all.
“Because the people���s plight does not bother Pres. Aquino as he is pursuing the implementation of the MRT-LRT fare hike just to favor the drive for profit of big private investors, the people are left with no other choice but to assert our legitimate calls with greater militance,” Gaite said.
“We would commemorate People Power 1 by demonstrating to Aquino its essence – the unity of the people in struggling against social injustice,” Gaite said.