LTFRB expands student fare discount to include weekends, holidays, summer breaks
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has allowed students to avail of their fare discounts up until weekends, and holidays.
In an October 11 Memorandum Circular, the LTFRB said: "Students can avail of the twenty percent (20%) discount from Monday to Sunday including summer breaks, legal and special holidays."
The order subjects all public utility vehicle operators to follow, and will take effect on Saturday, October 28. (READ: Should students get fare discount 'all year round'?)
Students up to the undergraduate level can avail of the premium. Post-graduate students still need to pay in full, such as students studying medicine, law, as well as those taking masters or doctorate degrees.
Sought for comment, LTFRB board member Aileen Lizada said this order is a product of pressure from netizens. “Madaming complaints sa social media (There are many complaints in social media),” she told reporters in a text message.
Open to exploitation
While students will rejoice over the money they will save, however, drivers worry.
According to Stop and Go Coalition president Jun Magno, commuters can easily pose as students on classless days as jeepney drivers unless the LTFRB provides stricter guidelines on how to avail discounts.
For one, Magno said, students should always show their IDs to drivers before they pay for their ride.
“Magkakaproblema po talaga 'yan dapat talaga na manatiling every weekday lang, weekdays. Kasi maraming magsasamantala diyan kapag weekend at holiday,” Magno said in a phone interview. (It should have been restricted to just weekdays. Because many will exploit the [provision] during weekends and holidays.)
According to Commuters’ Safety and Protection Group president Maricor Akol, they welcome the LTFRB order, but they feel that the board should incentivize drivers for the expansion of the discount.
Akol pointed out that students make up a huge chunk of the commuting population as they still cannot afford cars.
“So any tulong na 'yan ay welcome. The advantage ay welcome treat sa students at commuters. Hindi ko lang alam na baka mag-strike ang mga jeepney,” she said. (Any help is welcome. The advantage is that it is a welcome treat to both students and commuters. I just don’t know if jeepney [groups] will go on strike.)
The discount also comes at a time when jeepney drivers are asking for a fare hike requesting the board to inflate the current rate from P8 to P10, as they struggle to match their income with fuel prices. – Rappler.com