(Additional Transportation Fare, Additional Burdens) January 15, 2011 (Covered by: Ms. Zen Hernandez- ABS-CBN news reporter) By: Carminda Licerio
January 14, 2011 I was supposed to buy a ticket in MRT Cubao I noticed that there was a person taking a video while I was in a MRT ticket booth lane. I thought it’s just for a while, but when I went inside the elevator I was surprised when somebody followed me, together with a girl who introduced herself as Denise. She asked my permission to have a short interview regarding the new MRT rate. She wanted to find out what I can say about the higher rate of the MRT fare that was been issued. I answered her question quickly because I was in a hurry that time going to the office. She just got my number and then she said that she will text me if there is a continuation of her interview. I found out that Denise is a researcher of ABS-CBN Network. She mentioned also that if ever Ms. Zen Hernandez will interview me either Saturday or Monday, for the Episode of the ABS-CBN program Patrol ng Pilipino.
Then, I received a text message coming from Denise and she said that Ms. Zen Hernandez will interview me the following day, Saturday, January 15, 2011. So, the following day, together with Daisy Panaligan and Ms. Virgie Rabino, we had an interview with Ms. Zen Hernandez- an ABS-CBN news reporter. They asked about our everyday routine in going to the office. Ms. Zen was curious with us, because we are all on wheelchairs, but we are still working despite our disabilities. Ms. Zen asked where we were staying and where we worked. I told her that we are members of Young Voices-a program of Leonard Cheshire Disability Philippines Foundation. And we are working in a foundation which promotes and protects the welfare of persons with disabilities (PWDs). She inquired about my everyday routine in going to the office. I said that I lived in Cainta, Rizal and work in West Avenue, Quezon City. “How do you feel about the MRT fare hike?” Ms. Zen asked. “Actually we are not happy with that news, especially those people like us with meager income. And although we have a transportation fare discount, it is still insufficient for disabled persons like us.” I replied.
“Is riding the MRT / LRT a great help for commuters, especially PWDs like you? And what improvements do you want to see in MRT facilities?” She also asked. “The elevators are always out of service. The MRT is a great help because of the low fare and we could also avoid being stuck in the traffic Sometimes, though, we have to push our way going inside and outside the MRT because of the loads of commuters, during rush hours. . I hope there would be a special lane inside the MRT, for PWDs, senior citizens, pregnant women and those accompanied by children, so that it would be easier to get in and out of the train.” I answered. “ What if the government would claim that the fare hike is necessary in order to improve the facilities inside MRT?” Ms. Zen asked. I answered her confidently “I’m sure that there are other ways for government to raise revenues to improve the facilities. But, I hope not through an MRT fare hike”
This was the end of the interview of Ms. Zen Hernandez, they took us from MRT Cubao to North Avenue where we are working. This is the first time that I experienced been interviewed with a news reporter and the interview was been aired in a television. At first I got nervous but I just thought that I was just talking to someone who is really concerned to people with disabilities like us.