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Student fare discount even on holidays, weekends, etc. sought

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 04:30 PM October 07, 2014
INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Senator Sonny Angara is pushing for the immediate passage of a bill that seeks to institutionalize a 20-percent fare discount to all students even during weekends, semester breaks, Christmas vacations and other legal holidays.

At present,   Angara said a mere memorandum circular (MC 2011-04) issued by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) serves as the basis for students to enjoy a 20-percent fare discount on public utility vehicles.

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But such discount, he said, is confined only to land transport and is applicable on weekdays from June to March, and during summer classes.

In Senate Bill No. 203, which he filed, Angara is proposing that the fare discount should be institutionalized and enjoyed by the more than 30 million elementary, high school and college students, including those enrolled in vocational and technical schools.

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The fare discount should also be imposed not only on public utility   vehicles but also on sea and air transport. It should be applicable not only during weekdays but also even during weekends, semester breaks, Christmas vacations and other legal holidays.

“With the increasing costs of tuition[and other school] fees and many basic commodities that have burdened parents throughout the country, this is indeed one small way of helping our kids to stay in school and finish their studies,” Angara said in a statement on Tuesday.

Under the proposed measure, students should be entitled to a grant of 20 percent discount on regular fares on land, sea and air transport upon presentation of their duly issued school IDs, current enrollment forms or other documents to properly establish their identity.

“Most students usually undertake academic researches, projects and group study activities during weekends. This is also a good opportune time for them to go home and spend time with their families for family-related duties,” he said.

Angara said if the bill is signed into law, students who are refused to avail of the fare discounts can directly submit their complaints to the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC).

The DOTC is then tasked to promptly refer it for urgent action to one of its attached agencies: the LTFRB, Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) or even the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA).

The House of Representatives has already approved last its version of a bill institutionalizing student fare discount.

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