Year-round student fare cut OK’d
Starting on Saturday, students riding in public utility vehicles (PUVs) will be entitled to a year-round 20-percent fare discount despite a transport group’s concern that the privilege may be exploited by unscrupulous individuals.
Earlier this month, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) passed an amendment to Memorandum Circular No. 2005-014, which granted the fare discount to senior citizens, people with disabilities and students.
The student discount, currently applicable only on weekdays, was extended to include weekends, “summer breaks, legal and special legal holidays.” However, it would not cover post-graduate students such as those taking up medicine, law, masters and doctorate degrees.
But Jun Magno, head of the Samahan ng Tsuper at Operator ng Pilipinas Genuine Organization Transport Coalition, said the year-round effectivity would not only affect PUV drivers’ income but could also cause some passengers to pretend to be students.
He noted that on weekends and other holidays, students do not usually carry with them their school IDs. He added that PUV drivers would have a hard time determining if their passengers were really students.
Grab, Uber also covered
Students pay a minimum jeepney fare of only P6.40. Also covered by the order are taxis, buses and app-based transport services such as Grab and Uber.
Asked for the rationale behind the extension of the fare discount, LTFRB board member Aileen Lizada said it was prompted by “several complaints on social media.”
While welcoming the LTFRB order, Maricor Akol, head of the National Center for Commuter Safety and Protection, said on Monday that for it to become a win-win situation for both students and drivers, the government should introduce a special fuel rate for PUV drivers. This would be a big help to affected drivers, she added.
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