Photo by Ben Nabong
MANILA, Philippines – Commuting and traveling will now be lighter on students' pockets, thanks to a newly-signed law.
The Student Fare Discount Act or Republic Act No 11314 has been signed by President Rodrigo Duterte, said Presidential Legislative Liaison Office Undersecretary Ryan Esteves on Monday, July 15.
Under the new measure, all Filipino students – from elementary to college, including technical-vocational school students – will get a 20% discount on all forms of land, air, and sea transportation, for the entire time they are enrolled, including weekends and holidays.
For air and sea travel, the discount will only apply to domestic travel.
Previously, an existing discount scheme covered only land transportation.
The discount covers buses, jeepneys, taxis, tricycles, the LRT and MRT, airlines, passenger ships, and transport network vehicle services (TNVS) like Grab.
Students just have to show their school ID or a validated enrollment form together with a government-issued ID.
However, the discount cannot be availed of by post-graduate students (medicine, law, masteral, doctoral) or those enrolled in short-term classes like students of dancing and driving schools and seminars.
Sweetening the deal is an exemption from paying travel tax when students travel abroad by plane or passenger ship for education, training, or to participate in a competition. The student passenger would have to show travel authorities a document proving they are traveling for any of those purposes.
If students are not given the discount by the transportation service, they can complain to the Land Transportation Franchise Regulatory Board (LTFRB) for land transportation, Civil Aeronautics Board for air transportation, and Maritime Industry Authority for sea or water transportation.
The law lists varying degrees of penalties for the 3 types of transportation utilities, ranging from a P5,000 fine for first time offenders in land transportation to P200,000 for the 3rd offense by an airline.
The Senate version of the law was authored by Senator Paolo "Bam" Aquino IV, co-authored by Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, sponsored by Senator Sonny Angara, and co-sponsored by Senator Grace Poe .
In the House, the measure was sponsored by representatives Cesar Sarmiento, Alfred Vargas, Bellaflor Angara-Castillo, Winnie Castelo, Dennis Laogan, Ron Salo, Eric Olivarez, Luis Raymund Villafuerte, Frederick Siao, and John Marvin Nieto. – Rappler.com
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at email@example.com.