Senate OKs bill expanding 20% student fare discount
Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) - October 29, 2017 - 4:00pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate committee on education has approved a bill seeking to expand the coverage of the 20 percent student fare discount to include air, water and rail transport.

The approval of the committee, chaired by Sen. Francis Escudero, came before the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) issued a memorandum last week that allowed students to avail themselves of fare discounts during weekends, holidays and summer breaks.

Sen. Sonny Angara, one of the authors of Senate Bill 1597, lauded the LTFRB for recognizing the needs of students, who have long pressed for all-year-round fare discount.

“But we also want student discounts to cover the Metro Rail Transit and Light Rail Transit as well as air and boat fares,” Angara said.

The present student discount covers only land transport such as jeepneys, buses, UV Express vans, taxis and transport network vehicle services Grab and Uber.

Under the bill, students enrolled in basic and tertiary education, including technical-vocational institutions, will be entitled to a 20 percent discount on regular domestic travel fares upon presentation of their duly issued school IDs or validated enrollment forms. 

Students taking up post-graduate studies such as medicine, law, masteral and doctoral degrees, and short term courses are not qualified for the discount.

Students who will travel abroad for education, training and competition will be exempted from the payment of travel tax upon showing of proof or documentation of intended purpose.

Land, water, air and rail transportation utilities that refuse to grant students discount will be fined P5,000 up to P200,000. 

The bill reduces the need for families to wait for promo fares of airlines. The family can use the savings from the fare discount for other school fees, Angara said.

Angara also filed a measure granting five percent discount on food, medicine, books and school supplies to poor students.     

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