Senate bill seeks to expand 20% student discount to air, sea transport

MANILA, Philippines – Under a proposed Senate measure, student fare discounts would not just cover land transportation but also air, sea, and rail transport.

Ideally, the committee chairperson sponsors the consolidated bill but on Monday, November 20, it was Senate committee on education vice chairman Senator Juan Edgardo Angara who sponsored Senate Bill 1597 or the Student Fare Discount Act. Senator Francis Escudero is the chairman.

Senators Sherwin Gatchalian and Grace Poe also signified their intention to be co-sponsor and co-author of the measure, respectively.

Under the bill, all students enrolled in basic and tertiary education institutions, including technical-vocational institutions, will be entitled to a 20% discount on regular domestic travel fares upon presentation of a valid school ID or validated enrollment forms for the school year.

The discounted fares would be for jeepneys, buses, UV Express vans, taxis, transport network vehicle services such as Grab and Uber, the Metro Rail Transit (MRT), Light Rail Transit (LRT), and domestic flights. Discounts would be effective throughout the year, including weekends, summer breaks, and holidays.

For example, a bonafide student would only pay P4,000 for roundtrip airfare to a province originally amounting to P5,000.

Exclusions

Students taking up post-graduate studies such as medicine, law, masters and doctoral degrees, and short-term courses of seminar type would not be covered by the proposed measure.

Meanwhile, Filipino students who will travel abroad for education, training, and competition will be exempt from the payment of travel tax upon presentation of proof or documentation of intended purpose.

The proposed measure prohibits students from availing of double discounts or the combination of the student fare discount with other programs.

Those who would refuse to grant student discounts would face a fine ranging from P5,000 to P200,000. – Rappler.com

Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email camille.elemia@rappler.com

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