Recognizing that tuition and other school fees are only part of the myriad of expenses incurred by families for their children, Senator Sonny Angara has called for the grant of discounts on basic services such as food, medicine and school supplies for underprivileged students.

“The Free Tuition Law has gone a long way in easing the burden of families for the education of their children. But for most families, there are still a lot of out-of-pocket expenses that they have to cope with and for them, every peso counts,” Angara said.

“Tuition makes up a mere 30 to 40 percent of a family’s out-of-pocket expenses.”

According to the Commission on Higher Education, tuition makes up a mere 30 to 40 percent of a family’s out-of-pocket expenses.

Among the regular expenses incurred by Filipino families for their children are transportation, food, medicine, school supplies and miscellaneous school fees.

As far as transportation is concerned, students will soon enjoy a 20 percent discount on fares for all modes of transport throughout the year with the signing into law of Republic Act 11314 or the Student Fare Discount Law, of which the seasoned legislator was one of the authors.

For the other ‘basic services,’ the veteran lawmaker has filed Senate Bill 132 or the proposed Underprivileged Student’s Discount Act of 2019.

“Libre na ang matrikula ng mga estudyante at ngayon may diskwento na din sila para sa kanilang pagbyabyahe. Napapanahon na bigyan din sila ng tulong sa iba pa nilang mga gastusin,” the senator said.

The bill calls for the grant of a 5% discount on basic and education services for underprivileged students.

The bill calls for the grant of a five percent discount on basic and education services for underprivileged students, whether they are enrolled in public or private schools or non-degree technical-vocational courses.

These discounts would apply to food establishments across the country; medicines; textbooks and school supplies; tuition, miscellaneous and other school fees; and museums, theaters and cultural events.

For the establishments and schools that provide the discounts to the students, they are eligible to claim the cost as allowable tax deduction from the gross income in the computation of the income tax in accordance with the provisions of the National Internal Revenue Code of the Philippines.

“Hindi biro ang gastusin ng mga magulang at estudyante para sa kanilang edukasyon. Marami sa ating mga estudyante ay hindi nakakapagtapos sa kanilang pag-aaral dahil sa kakulangan sa pera. Lahat ng klaseng tulong na matatanggap nila, gaano man kalaki o kaliit ay malayo ang mararating,” he said.

“Ang pangarap natin ay ang magkaroon ng college graduate ang bawat pamilya upang maiahon sila sa hirap. Obligasyon ng gobyerno na tulungan sila na makamit ang hangarin na ito,” Angara added.


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