Senate approves year-round student fare discount
The Senate approved on third and final reading a bill expanding the coverage of students’ 20-percent transport fare discount.
Senate Bill 1597 seeks to institutionalize the grant of fare discount currently being enforced by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) even during weekends and holidays and which covers all means of transportation all-year round.
“This will be more significant to the beneficiaries belonging to the indigent and underprivileged sector that rely on public transport services,” Senator Sonny Angara, who was the principal proponent of the bill, said in a statement.
The bill, once enacted into law, would mean that all Filipino students, from elementary to college and those enrolled in technical-vocational schools, would be entitled to a 20-percent discount in buses, jeepneys, taxis, tricycle, transport network vehicle services (TNVS), MRT, LRT as well as airlines and passenger ships.
The discount for airfare will only be for domestic travel on regular fare upon presentation of a duly issued school ID or current validated enrollment form.
Students traveling abroad for purposes of education, training, and competition will instead be exempted from paying travel tax provided that they could show proof or documentation for overseas training.
However, students taking up post-graduate studies such as medicine, law, masteral and doctoral studies, and other short-term courses will not be covered.
Under the bill, corresponding penalties will be meted out to those who will deny students their 20-percent discount or fail to follow the proposed law.
Those who will attempt or avail of the privilege by fraudulent means or misrepresentation will also be subjected to civil and penal liabilities. /ee