Saturday , June 23, 2018

Bill seeks to expand 20% student fare discount

A BILL seeking to expand the coverage of the 20-percent student fare discount to include air, water and rail transport has been filed in the Senate.

If approved, this will allow a Davao resident studying in Manila to save up to P2,000 on round-trip airfare, which currently averages P10,000.

Senator Juan Edgardo "Sonny" Angara said his bill is expected to " bring a sigh of relief not just to over 20 million public and private students but to also their families."

“This is especially more significant to the beneficiaries belonging to the indigent, and underprivileged sector that rely on public transport services,” added the senator.

Under the bill, all students enrolled in basic and tertiary education institutions, including technical-vocational institutions, will be entitled to a 20-percent discount on regular domestic travel fares — including jeepneys, buses, UV Express vans, taxis and transport network vehicle services Grab and Uber, Metro Rail Transport (MRT), Light Rail Transport (LRT), domestic flights —upon presentation of their school ID or current validated enrollment forms.

Such discount will be effective throughout the year including weekends, summer breaks and holidays.

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

Meanwhile, Filipino students who will travel abroad for education, training, and competition will be exempt from the payment of travel tax upon presentation of proof or documentation of intended purpose.

The proposed measure prohibits the availment of double discounts or combination of the student fare discount with other discount programs.

“Nalalapit na ang holiday season at siguradong mag-uuwian sa kani-kanilang probinsya ang mga estudyante. Dahil may 20% discount na, mas magaan na sa bulsa ang pamasahe para tiyak na kumpleto ang pamilya sa pagsalubong ng Pasko at bagong taon,” Angara said.

(The holiday season is approaching and students are expected to go home to the provinces. With the 20% discount, fares would be cheaper.)

Land, water, air and rail transportation utilities that refuse to grant student discounts will be penalized with a fine ranging from P5,000 to P200,000. (SunStar Philippines)