Angara endorses bill expanding student fare discount for plenary OK
Senator Sonny Angara has endorsed for plenary approval a measure that would not only expand the coverage of the 20% student fare discount but also exempts Filipino students from travel tax when they travel abroad for education, training, and competition.
“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,” Angara, vice chairman of the Senate committee on education, said on Monday.
(This is an early Christmas present to the students. Parents will surely save money because we know it’s not only on tuition they spend money on but also on allowance and transportation fare of the students.)
He said the proposals contained in Senate Bill No. 1597 would “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, one of the authors of the bill.
Angara explained that under the bill, all students enrolled in basic and tertiary education institutions, including technical-vocational institutions, would 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, he said, would be effective throughout the year including weekends, summer breaks and holidays.
But students taking up post-graduate studies such as medicine, law, masteral and doctoral degrees, and other short term courses of seminar type, however, would not be qualified to avail the discount, the senator said.
Meanwhile, Filipino students who would travel abroad for education, training, and competition would be exempt from the payment of travel tax upon proper showing of proof or documentation of intended purpose.
Angara pointed out however that the 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,” he said.
(The holiday season is fast approaching and for sure students will be going home to the provinces. Now that there will be a 20% discount, the fare will be more affordable so that families will surely be complete for Christmas and New Year.)
The senator said students who would go home, for instance, to Davao could save up to P2,000 on their round trip airfare which currently costs about P10,000.
Angara warned that also under the bill, land, water, air and rail transportation utilities that would refuse to grant student discount would be fined from P5,000 to P200,000. /je
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