MANILA, Philippines – As the targeted month for resumption of face-to-face classes draws near, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said in a press briefing this Tuesday that students will be given the benefit of free rides on the Light Rail Transit – Line 2 (LRT-2).
During a press briefing on July 5, Marcos made the announcement that the “Libreng Sakay” program will continue – this time, for students.
Through this free mode of public transportation located along the University Belt, the program aims to lighten the students’ and their families’ financial burdens amid rising living expenses, as the government seeks to implement face-to-face classes by November this year.
“Libreng Sakay continues, as is. That continues. But what we are going to do is we are going to do a program for the students. Because if they come in, we will fully subsidize first their pamasahe,” Marcos said.
“We’ll phase it (free rides in MRT-3) out because we cannot afford to keep that going. But students will ride for free on LRT 2, which is going to the university belt,” he added during his first presser as the country’s president.
Details on until when this “Libreng Sakay” program for students will run have yet to be given.
In an interview with Philstar, the Move as One transport coalition said that another area needing action with regards to transportation is the increasing of transport capacity.
“In the experience of the EDSA Busway, we need to also look at the potential of expanding dedicated lanes for public transport to other routes, and to other major corridors,” transport economist Robert Siy, Move as One co-convenor said during their interview.
“Because when we give a dedicated lane for buses or jeepneys, we enable them to deliver more round trips, within the same time period, they can operate faster, they can have more round trips, and when they have more round trips, they can carry more passengers. And that is one way we also increase the capacity of our transportation system,” Siy said as published in the news website’s article.
Along with this announcement of free LRT-2 rides for students, Marcos also said that he plans to extend the government’s fuel subsidy program to tricycles.