Bill seeks to institutionalize public transport discount for students
MANILA, Philippines – A lawmaker wants to institutionalize discounts on public land, water, and air transportation for all students throughout the school year.
Quezon City 5th District Representative Alfred Vargas III filed House Bill (HB) Number 72, which seeks to provide students with a 20% discount on all forms of public transportation for the entire school year, including weekends and holidays.
There would be no discounts given during semestral and summer breaks.
HB Number 72 defines a student as any Filipino citizen not exceeding the age of 30 currently enrolled in an elementary, secondary, technical and vocational, or higher education institution.
A student would have to present a valid school identification (ID) card or a proof of enrollment with another valid ID card to avail of the proposed 20% discount.
Vargas reasoned that he filed the bill because student fare discounts have only been granted through circulars issued by the Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB). (READ: LTFRB orders jeepney fare cut anew)
“This bill seeks to address economic concerns and the alarming rate of school drop-outs. This will alleviate the burden of the parents and guardians in the financial support given to the students with due consideration to its continued rise in the cost of education in the country, including their incidental expenses, eg transportation costs,” the lawmaker said in his explanatory note.
Under the proposed bill, students can report non-complying drivers to the LTFRB for land transportation vehicles except tricycles, the office of the local chief executive for tricycles, the Maritime Industry Authority for water transportation, the Civil Aeronautics Board for air travel, and the legal service of the Department of Transportation for rail facilities.
The proposed penalties include suspension of driver’s license and a monetary fine, depending on the number of offenses committed.
“In this scenario, we can expect holistic growth of our students, our hope for the future. [Due] consideration is also given to those students undergoing internships, trainings, and other activities covered by their curricula,” said Vargas.
Versions of his bill were earlier filed in both the Senate and the House of Representatives in the previous 16th Congress, but none passed into law. – Rappler.com