January was not a good start for the country.
In the first month along, reports of carjacking, victims burned and toll way prices came our way. The next thing was a bus bomb and transportation increase. Now that’s only the beginning.
While the country has yet to recover from the infamous bus incident last August that killed Hong Kong nationals, another bus bomb occurred, killing four people and injuring many last January 26 along EDSA in Buendia, Makati. Those who were killed were on their way to their daily task with some of them going to school and job interviews. Now, their dreams have been shattered, all because of unknown men who want to cause chaos in the country. Security has long been an issue and many now wonder how safe is to ride a bus after the incident.
While the bus bombing is fresh in the minds of many, last February 2, transportation prices in jeepney have been increased from P7 to P8. Taxis on the other hand, have started their P40 flat rate from P30. According to transportation groups, the additional cause is due to the ongoing oil price hikes. This March, the Light Rail Transit and the Metro Rail Transit are supposedly increasing the train tickets. With transportation prices increase, people have been told to tighten further their belts. Haven’t we’ve been already tightening our belts?
When going to other countries, transportation cost may sound expensive when you convert it but the thing is, they are able to maintain it properly and guaranteed that the pay will go for improvement in their transportation. With the price increase here though, people are unsure if the increase will help purchase new trains and necessary repairs to be done. It is heart breaking to see that escalators and elevators in train stations are broken, many of the stairs old and run down and none of the authorities are even doing anything about it.
So what has to be done? As a commuter, I think the Department of Transportation and Communication as well as the men and women of the Metro Rail Transit and the Light Rail Transit must assure that the increase in price for transportation will benefit the people. A big percentage of the masses take mass transportation everyday with the train and jeep topping the list. Strict rules must be applied and as for security, tightening it is good but must not hassle the commuters. They must train the police and security guards to be polite and well mannered which unfortunately is lacking among many.
On the lighter side, there is a bit of improvement as the long delayed expansion of the Northrail project is ongoing and hopefully be finished soon. Discounts are being given to students and senior citizens. For now though, commuters must suffer and well, we can only hope that the price increase will improve transportation in the country and lessen the woes we have to endure everyday.