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Porsche-riding president is Commuter Enemy #1 – Anakbayan

January 22, 2011

A group of young workers, professionals, and students has branded President Noynoy Aquino ‘Commuter Enemy #1’ for his part in the MRT-LRT fare hikes, as well as the recently-announced petitions for jeepney and bus fare hikes.

A group of Metro Manila bus operators has filed a petition to increase ordinary bus from P9 to P14 for the first 5 kilometers and from P1.85 to P2.55 every succeeding kilometer. For aircon buses, they have also petitioned an increase of P11 to P17, and P2.20 to P2.90.

“With all modes of mass transportation becoming more expensive, the millions of workers and students in Metro Manila can no longer escape the specter of bigger commuting costs and less money for food education, and other basic needs” said Anakbayan spokesperson Vencer Crisostomo.

According to the group, the MRT-LRT fare increases will consume as much as 12% to 15% on the monthly earnings of workers who earn P10,000 or less, the income group which comprises 52.8% of all regular MRT-LRT users.

Anakbayan further computed that this would result in the said workers having their half-year earnings reduced to P52,800. If the person is sending a child to college, in which the national average tuition for a semester now stands at P25,000, this means they only have P27,800 for six months’ worth of food and other basic needs.

“It’s easy for Noynoy to ask us ordinary commuters to stay calm when he has a new sports car to take him places. The rest of us have no alternatives outside of jeeps, buses, and the MRT-LRT”  said the youth leader.

Yesterday, around a hundred youths under Anakbayan staged a ‘sit-down’ protest in the LRT-2 Legarda station near the University Belt as a continuation of their ‘Black Friday’ protest series, catching security personnel by surprise. According to Crisostomo, they will launch bigger actions next Friday.

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