By John Carlo Cahinhinan | April 2, 2014

A MILITANT lawmaker on Wednesday said that the glitches being encountered recently in the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) 3 operations can be a form of mind conditioning by the government to justify the proposed fare hike for the popular mass transport system.

Bayan Muna party-list Representative Carlos Isagani Zarate said that Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya should address the daily problems being encountered by the MRT-3 commuters.

"What we fear though is that these unresolved MRT problems are being allowed to happen and deteriorate by the DOTC so that they can justify increasing the current fare. This is 'planned obsolescence' so that they can rake in more profits at the expense of the commuters," Zarate said.

Zarate added that Abaya should refrain from engaging in politics and instead focus on the problems of the country's rail systems.

Abaya, the acting president of the ruling Liberal Party last week stated that Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II remains the administration's top bet for the upcoming 2016 Presidential Polls.

"Instead of this early promoting the presidential bid of Secretary Mar Roxas, DOTC Secretary Joseph Abaya should better concentrate more on the pressing problems besetting the MRT-LRT like the endless lines, computer glitches, non-working elevators and escalators, sardine-like coaches, accidents and many more so that our commuters would have a safer and more comfortable way of getting to their workplaces or schools and back home," said Zarate.

Zarate said that he and other lawmakers in the Makabayan bloc shall continue to oppose moves seeking to increase the fares for the MRT and Light Rail Transit (LRT) as well as deals that put Filipino taxpayers and commuters at a disadvantage.

"Mass transits are a public service and should be subsidized by the government. Its main purpose is to provide the public with cheap and affordable transportation services. We will block any DOTC plan to ram a fare hike on our hapless consumers," the lawmaker said.

Zarate added that there are also a slew of other unresolved issues that hound the MRT-LRT from the extortion attempt on a Czech company, to the supposed rigged bidding on the unified ticketing system and common terminals and the MRT-7 extension.

Members of the Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives will file a resolution in May seeking to conduct an inquiry into alleged irregularities and anomalous deals entered into by the DOTC. (Sunnex)