SEN. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara on Monday sought the passage of the bill that seeks to expand the coverage of the 20 percent student fare discount to include air, water and rail transport.
Under Senate Bill 1597, such discounts will be effective throughout the year including weekends, summer breaks and holidays. It is expected to benefit 20 million public and private students.
Angara said students who would go home to Davao can save up to P2,000 on their round trip airfare which currently costs about P10,000.
Land, water, air and rail transportation utilities that refuse to grant student discount will be penalized with a fine ranging from P5,000 to P200,000.
“This measure will further enable our young to widen their scope of learning beyond their classrooms. As they receive discounted fares, they will be encouraged to explore new places such as museums, galleries, parks, and historical places where additional learning can take place,” the senator said.
“This, in turn, helps them to aim higher. I believe the Senate can stretch just a little bit further to make these student discounts happen for them,” he added.
Bernadette E. Tamayo
In his sponsorship speech, Angara said SB 1597 would “definitely bring a sigh of relief not just to over 20 million public and private students but to also their families.”
Senators Grace Poe and Sherwin Gatchalian co-sponsored the measure.
“This is an early Christmas gift to our students. Parents would surely save money because we know that they don’t only spend for tuition but they also shell out money for the transportation of students,” he said.
“This is especially more significant to the beneficiaries belonging to the indigent, and underprivileged sector that rely on public transport services,” said Angara, vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Education and one of the authors of SB 1597.
Under SB 1597, all students enrolled in basic and tertiary education institutions, including technical-vocational institutions, would be entitled to a 20% discount on regular domestic travel fares—including jeepneys, buses, UV Express vans, taxis and transport network vehicle services Grab and Uber, MRT (Metro Rail Transit), LRT (Light Rail Transit), domestic flights—upon presentation of their duly issued school ID or current validated enrollment forms.
Meanwhile, Filipino students who will travel abroad for education, training, and competition will be exempt from the payment of travel tax upon proper showing of proof or documentation of intended purpose.