August 15, 2016 | | Maila Ager

There will be no fare hikes and tollroad rate increases until the public transport services in the country have improved, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade told a Senate hearing on Wednesday.

While he has yet to receive formal requests for any fare hikes, Tugade said he has already told his people that any petitions for fare hikes either for Light Rail Transit (LRT) or Metro Rail Transit (MRT) were "totally not acceptable."

“Any increase must be predicated on enhanced quality services,” he said during the hearing of the Senate committee on public services chaired by Senator Grace Poe.

Tugade was reacting to Senate Minority Leader Ralph Recto's question on the reported 10 percent fare hike being sought for LRT riders.

Asked if the government had plans to increase the MRT fare, the transport chief said: "Wala ho kaming planong ganyan (We have no such plans)."

"Yun nga ho yung sinasabi ko na lalabas ho kaming katawa-tawa na mag re-rate increase ka na ang serbisyo mo ay hindi naman maganda. Katawa tawa ho tayo dyan ()," he said.

Tugade said that last week, he already announced that he was also against any toll hikes.