MANILA, Philippines – In a bid to utilize the power of vanity and the Internet, a militant group has turned the ubiquitous “Selfie” into a personal platform for protest.
Groups protesting the proposed fare increase for the Metro Rail and Light Rail Transit lines in the country have declared the “Selfie” or self-portrait photographs as their “new form of protest.”
#StrikeTheHike and Bagong Alyansang Makabayan – National Capital Region (BAYAN-NCR) on Tuesday called on netizens to air their opposition against the planned P10 fare increase by posting “selfies” with messages of protest in various social media platforms.
As of Tuesday morning, the group has posted 84 “Selfies” in their Facebook page. Participants of all ages submitted photos with superimposed text or fan signs.
The group said the photos will be made into a collage and presented to the government during the August 22 public consultation with the Department of Transportation and Communications.
Bayan-NCR secretary general Mark Louie Aquino said they were hoping that online and offline protests would lead to bigger street mobilizations.
He urged the government to instead re-channel the contentious “pork barrel” or Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) of legislators for social services and utilities such as the MRT and the LRT.
DOTC said they planned to recover operating costs from the heavily subsidized train lines by increasing fares by P5 in 2013 and another P5 in 2014.