House OKs bill expanding 20% student fare discount to air, sea transport

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines may eventually have a law that would grant students a 20% discount on all forms of land, sea, and air transportation, after the House of Representatives approved a bill institutionalizing this.

Legislators approved House Bill (HB) 8885 on 3rd and final reading on Monday, February 4, with a vote of 169-0-0. Senators earlier approved their version of the measure on October 1, 2018.

Who would be qualified for the discount? If signed into law, HB 8885 would grant a 20% fare discount to any Filipino citizen who is enrolled in any elementary, secondary, technical and vocational, or higher education institution. 

He or she must present a valid school identification card or a validated enrollment form together with a government-issued ID. 

But the student fare discount would not be applicable to postgraduate students and those enrolled in informal short-term courses, which HB 8885 said may include courses on dancing, swimming, music, and driving.

The House bill also bars qualified students from availing of double discounts or combining the student fare discount with other programs.

What forms of transportation would be covered? HB 8858 would mandate that all land, sea, and air public transportation utilities grant a 20% fare discount to qualified students.

These may include buses, jeepneys, taxis, and other similar vehicles-for-hire, as well as tricycles, trains, aircraft, and marine vessels.

When can the discount be availed of? Under the bill, a student may avail of the discount during the entire enrollment period, including weekends and holidays. 

What would be the punishment for violators? Drivers and operators of public transportation utilities stand to face several penalties should they refuse to grant the student fare discount. 

For drivers of land public transportation utilities:

The owner or operator of the vehicle would also have to pay P1,000 for every offense committed by the driver.

For owners or operators of land public transportation vehicles that require prior booking:

For the owners or operators of sea or air public transportation:

 For operators of rail public transportation utilities:

Any person who would falsify identification documents in an attempt to avail of the student discount would be denied access to the privilege and may be subjected to "civil and penal liabilities prescribed by law." –

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda writes about politics and women’s rights for Rappler. She covers the House of Representatives and the Office of the Vice President. Got tips? Send her an email at or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.