Senator Sonny Angara underscored the need for Congress to pass a legislation that would institutionalize the grant of 20-percent fare discount to students to ensure they will continue to enjoy reduced transportation expenses in the future.
“If we want to provide long-term assistance to our students, we need to come up with a law to institutionalize the regulatory policy which can always be subject to change,” Angara said.
If we want to provide long-term assistance to our students, we need to come up with a law to institutionalize the regulatory policy which can always be subject to change.
The veteran legislator issued the statement after the Department of Transportation (DOTr) issued a public reminder about the entitlement of students to fare discounts even during weekends and holidays, as well as the corresponding penalties for operators and drivers of public utility vehicles who violate such regulation.
Students are entitled to fare discounts even during weekends and holidays, as well as the corresponding penalties for operators and drivers of public utility vehicles who violate such regulation.
In October last year, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTRFB) issued a memorandum circular stating that “students can avail of the 20-percent discount from Monday to Sunday, including summer breaks, legal and special holidays.”
Failure to provide the fare discount is a franchise violation that carries a penalty of a fine of P5,000 for the first offense, P10,000 and their vehicles impounded for one month for the second offense, and P15,000 and cancellation of franchise for the third offense.
According to the seasoned lawmaker, there is always a possibility that the student fare discount may not be enforced effectively since it is just based on a circular issued by the LTFRB.
“Ang kailangan natin ay batas para masiguro natin na ang 20-percent discount para sa mga mag-aaral ay mananatili kahit sino pa ang mga nakaupo sa DOTr at LTFRB,” the senator pointed out.
Thus, he reiterated the call for his colleagues in the Senate to fast-track the approval of his bill that expands and institutionalizes the 20-percent transport fare discount given to students.
Angara, vice chairman of the Senate Education Committee, filed Senate Bill 945 that covers not only land transport but also MRT, LRT, airplanes, and passenger ships all year round.
His renewed call for the immediate passage of the bill came as students throughout the country have trooped back to school. “Let’s lessen a bit the hardship of parents in sending their children to school. One way is to help our students by cutting their transportation expenses. The money saved from the fare discount can be used for other school requirements,” Angara said.
He added: “We always say that the youth is the future of the country. Let’s make this come true by investing adequately on our students.”