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Tuesday, January 28, 2020
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Student fare discount


Persida Acosta

Dear PAO,
Good day! I just heard from my uncle that there is a student fare discount benefit and I was just wondering if I could avail of this. I am currently enrolled in college and my younger siblings and I are planning to go to Bohol during the next term break. Does this also apply for school bus fares? The reason I asked is because my younger siblings are currently taking a school bus to and from school.

Dear Lilibelle,
Republic Act (RA) 11314, otherwise known as the “Student Fare Discount Act,” provides students with discount benefits to regular transportation utilities and fares.

Although you are already in college, you may still be able to avail of the discount privileges so long as you are enrolled. The reason being is that the term“student” does not only cover those attending elementary and secondary education, but also those enrolled in technical-vocational or higher education institutions. However, those enrolled in post graduate degree courses and informal short-term courses — such as dancing, swimming, music and driving lessons — and seminar-type courses are no longer encompassed by this law (Section 3 (a)).

The 20 percent student discount applies to all public transportation utilities and may be availed of even on weekends and holidays. Accordingly, you and your siblings may avail of the fare discount on your next term break. However, no discount can be availed of when promotional rates have already been applied. Further, there is no fare discount for school bus or school service engagements. To be more specific, RA 11314 states:

“Section 4. Coverage. — This Act shall cover all public transportation utilities such as, but not limited to, public utility buses, public utility jeepneys, taxis and other similar vehicles-for-hire, tricycles, passenger trains, aircraft and marine vessels. The application of this Act does not cover school service, shuttle service, tourist service, and any similar service covered by contract or charter agreement and with valid franchise or permit from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board.

“The fare discount granted under this Act shall be available during the entire period while the student is enrolled, including weekends and holidays: Provided, That, in a case where a promotional fare, as approved by the concerned regulatory agency, is granted by a public transportation utility operator, the student shall have the option to choose between the promotional fare and the regular fare less the discount as provided under this Act.

“Section 5. Student Fare Discount Privilege. — A student under this Act shall be entitled to a grant of twenty percent (20 percent) discount on domestic regular fares, upon personal presentation of their duly issued school identification cards or current validated enrollment form, supported by the prescribed government-issued identification document, subject to an appropriate verification mechanism to be provided in the implementing rules and regulations: Provided, That in the case of air public transportation utilities, the discount shall only apply to the base fare or the price of the ticket before taxes and costs for ancillary services.”

We hope that we were able to answer your queries. This advice is based solely on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.

Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to dearpao@www.manilatimes.net

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