Senator Sonny Angara has sponsored the bill that seeks to expand the coverage of the 20% student fare discount to not only include land transport, but also air, water and rail transport all year round.
"Ito po ay isang maagang Pamasko sa ating mga mag-aaral. Tiyak na makatitipid ang mga magulang dahil alam naman nating hindi lang matrikula ang kanilang pinagkakagastusan kundi pati na rin ang baon at pamasahe ng mga estudyante," said Angara, one of the authors of Senate Bill 1597 and vice chairman of the education committee.
"This measure will definitely 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, a known advocate of educational reforms, who is also one of the authors of the Free College Law.
Under the bill, all students enrolled in basic and tertiary education institutions, including technical-vocational institutions, will be entitled to a 20% discount on regular domestic travel fares--including jeepneys, buses, UV Express vans, taxis and transport network vehicle services Grab and Uber, MRT, LRT, domestic flights--upon presentation of their duly issued 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 other short term courses of seminar type 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 proper showing 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.
For example, students who will go home to Davao can save up to P2,000 on their round trip airfare which currently costs about P10,000.
Land, water, air and rail transportation utilities that refuse to grant student discount will be penalized with a fine ranging from P5,000 to P200,000.
Source: Senate of the Philippines