Senate approves year-round fare discount for students

MANILA, Philippines – The proposed legislation expanding the coverage of the students' 20-percent transport fare discount had been approved by the Senate on third and final reading on Monday, October 1.
Senate approves year-round fare discount for students

With the backing of all of his colleagues who even stood as co-authors, the principal proponent, Sen. Sonny Angara, expressed hope that the counterpart of Senate Bill 1597 in the House of Representatives will soon be passed as well.

"This will be more significant to the beneficiaries belonging to the indigent and underprivileged sector that rely on public transport services," Angara, a known advocate of educational reforms and one of the authors of the Free College Law, said.

The bill seeks to institutionalize the grant of student fare discount being enforced by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) even during weekends and holidays and covers all means of transportation all year round.

Its enactment into law means that all Filipino students, from elementary to college and those enrolled in technical-vocational schools, will be entitled to a 20-percent discount in buses, jeepneys, taxis, tricycles including transport network vehicle services (TNVS), MRT, LRT as well as in airlines and passenger ships.

It, however, does not cover students taking up post-graduate studies such as medicine, law, masteral and doctoral degrees and short-term courses.

The discount for airfare will only be for domestic travel on regular fares, upon presentation of their duly issued school IDs or current validated enrollment forms.

For those travelling abroad for purposes of education, training and competition, they will instead be exempted from paying travel tax provided that they could show proof or documentation supporting their claims.

Under the bill, corresponding penalties will not be limited to those who will deny students their 20-percent discount or follow the proposed law as even those who will attempt or avail of the privilege by fraudulent means or misrepresentation would be subject to civil and penal liabilities.

It took the Senate only a year to deliberate on the measure and when it was approved on second reading last Tuesday, all senators manifested to be made co-authors.

— The Summit Express

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