MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles) – Last January 4, base transportation fares on Metro Manila’s Light Rail Transit (LRT) Lines 1 and 2, and the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) Line 3 were increased from P10.00 to P11.00 plus P1.00 per additional kilometer.
Department of Transportation and Communication Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said the increase, which he called “a tough decision” that had to be made in order to bring improved services on the MRT and LRT lines.
Metro Manila’s rail lines, particularly the MRT-3, have been the subject of complaints from commuters because of congestion and frequent delays caused by glitches and breakdowns.
During last week’s Adobo Tour, our our publisher, editor and star reporters personally experienced the long and winding lines to get to the ticket booths, to wait for trains to arrive and to exit the platforms. Not to mention having to wait for the next two trains because only 3 to 4 incoming passengers at a time can be accommodated in the sardine-packed train cars.
But while daily commuters have to deal with less take home pay from their already meager salaries, millionaires who own several airconditioned luxury vehicles and have so much money they could charter an entire Boeing 747, are beng granted tax exemptions by the ever-brilliant, grandstanding Philippine legislators . Manny Pacquiao, for example.
Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III has proposed to grant a special tax exemption to Pacquiao to inspire him in his megafight with American Floyd Mayweather Jr. on May 2, 2015 (May 3 in Manila).
Pimentel said the special tax incentive was a “fitting tribute to the priceless package of proudly promoting the country once again in the international map.”
Pacquiao, an elected congressman from his hometown of Saranggani, has been in trouble with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) in recent years for alleged failure to pay taxes on his earnings from his championship fights in the U.S.
BIR Commissioner Kim Henares who has a reputation for going after celebrities for their prize winnings abroad, has not commented on the proposal by Pimentel.
So, for tax-free living in the Philippines, run for public office or take up boxing for a profession!