Global alliance of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) Migrante International today joined opposition to the impending increase in MRT and LRT fares, saying that the fee hikes will increase the daily operational expenses of their families by at least 20 percent.
“Panibagong pasakit na naman ang aabutin ng mga OFW at kanilang pamilya dahil sa sunud-sunod na pagtaas ng presyo ng pamasahe at iba pang mga bilihin,” said Garry Martinez, Migrante International chairperson.
He cited as a case study a humble remittance-dependent family with four school children based in Cubao, Quezon City. The family spends an average of P14,500 per month:
Food – P6,000 (P200/day)
Rent – P3,000 (one room)
LPG – P400 (2 “Superkalans”/month)
Electricity – P600
Water – P250
Toiletries (soap, shampoo, etc.) – P900
Transportation costs of children to school – P3,360 – P14 x 2 daily fare of 4 children to and from school
Their breadwinner is a domestic worker in Saudi Arabia. She sends P21,000 every three (3) months, or P7,000 a month. Her remittance falls P7,500 short of her family’s monthly expenses.
With the 100% increase in MRT and LRT fare hikes, expenses for transportation of the school children would shoot up to Php6,720, leaving the already deficit remittance short by another P3,000.
“Ang masaklap dito, sa pamasahe pa lang ito. Hindi pa nakasama dito ang tiyak na pagtaas ng iba pang serbisyo tulad ng tubig at kuryente, at ang pagtaas ng iba pang mga bilihin dahil sa oil price hikes,” he said.
With the impending electricity, water and oil price hikes, her monthly remittance will barely support her family.
“At the end of the day, it is not Malacanang or anyone else who will be making the hard decisions but our workers, our OFWs and their families. This is the glaring reality. While Pres. Aquino seems to be appeasing big businesses through the fare hikes, mga kayod-kabayong OFW at kanilang pamilya naman ang kawawa,” Martinez said.
The migrant leader said that they will join series of protests and launch protests abroad against the impending fare hikes. ###