Metro Manila --- As a token of gratitude and gesture of appreciation, all active military personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are now entitled to free rides at the MRT-3.
A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was signed today by the Department of Transportation (DOTr), MRT-3 Management, and the AFP to give free rides to all active military personnel for an entire year starting today, April 25. They may avail of the free ride upon showing their AFP identification cards that will serve as their access pass.
DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said the free train ride is a way of recognizing the sacrifices of our military.
Simple as it may seem, this offer of respect, this offer of gratitude, comes from the bottom of our hearts. Idol namin kayo. Mahal namin kayo. Kung meron kaming isang maliit na bagay na mabibigay sa inyo, gaya ng libreng sakay at libreng pamasahe, ibibigay namin sa inyo 'yan dahil kinikilala namin ang inyong katungkulan, kinikilala namin ang inyong pagmamahal sa bayan," said Tugade.
In return, the AFP will be providing the DOTr-MRT-3 media mileage through its Civil Service Relations-AFP (CRS-AFP) office, as well as ambulance and medical teams for assistance during emergency and crisis situations upon advance coordination and when available.
During the ceremony, Secretary Tugade also said that all active military personnel can use all airport lounges throughout the country free of charge.
"Nagbigay po ako ng instruksyon last year na kung saan all enlisted personnel are entitled to the free use of all lounges in the Republic of the Philippines. Sapagkat ang ating mga sundalo, pag kayo ay bumabyahe, bitbit niyo yung katungkulan kung saan kaya niyong i-atang ang inyong buhay. Dapat lang naman buksan namin ang aming mga airport lounges para sa inyo," Tugade added.
Secretary Tugade, DOTr Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan, MRT-3 General Manager Rodolfo Garcia, and CRSAFP Commander and Brig. Gen. Bienvenido Datuin, Jr. signed the MOA. The agreement was noted by Batan and AFP Chief of Staff Carlito Galvez, Jr. and approved by Secretary Tugade and Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.
Last year, a MOA was also approved and signed between the AFP and the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA), granting all uniformed personnel free rides until December 2018 at the LRT-2 as a gesture of appreciation for the soldiers who risked their lives during the Marawi City siege.