House panel okays 20% student fare discount bill

MANILA The House of Representatives' transportation committee approved on Wednesday a substitute bill seeking to institutionalize the grant of a 20-percent student fare discount on land, water, and air transport systems even during weekends and holidays.

The still-unnumbered substitute bill, which shall be known as the "Student Fare Discount Act", is a consolidation of nine measures: House Bills 72, 706, 2477, 3642, 6117, 7269, 7318, and 8397.

The public transportation utilities covered by the measure are public utility buses, public utility jeepneys, taxis, and other similar vehicles-for-hire, tricycles, passenger trains, aircraft, and marine vessels.

The bill does not cover school service, shuttle service, and tourist service.

A student shall be entitled to a 20-percent discount on the regular domestic fares of all kinds of public transportation upon the presentation of a duly issued and validated school identification card or current validated enrollment form, supported by any document to properly establish identity.

It may be availed of during the entire period while the student is enrolled, including weekends and holidays.

The bill provides that the public transportation utility operator may claim as tax deduction the student fare discount granted, based on the cost of the services rendered.

It also provides additional relief or support for the public transportation utility operator and driver.

Appropriate government agencies in charge of regulating the fares may determine alternative ways such as reduction or exemption from some regulatory fees and charges to mitigate the impact of the discount given under the implementing rules and regulations of the proposed law.

Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte, principal author, said, "With price increasing for goods services this year, and school tuition hiking for higher education, a reduction in payment for transport services would be a weight off the shoulders for the youth." (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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