SENATOR Sonny Angara hopes that his proposed measure institutionalizing a 20-percent fare discount to all students even during Christmas vacation will eventually become a law next year.
The Senate and the House of Representatives went on a monthlong break last Dec. 17. Congress will resume session on Jan. 16, 2017.
At present, Angara said a mere Memorandum Circular 2011-04 issued by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) serves as the basis for students to enjoy a 20-percent fare discount on public utility vehicles.
“But such discount is confined only to land transport and is applicable on weekdays from June to March, and during summer classes,” he said.
In his Senate Bill 945, Angara has proposed that the fare discount should be institutionalized and enjoyed by the more than 30 million elementary, high school and college students, including those enrolled in vocational and technical schools.
“The fare discount should also be imposed not only on public utility vehicles but also on sea and air transport. It should be applicable not only during weekdays but also even during weekends, semester breaks, Christmas vacations and other legal holidays,” he said.
“With the increasing costs of tuition and other school fees and many basic commodities that have burdened parents, I hope our colleagues would support the passage of this bill,” said Angara.
Under SBN 945, students should be entitled to a grant of 20 percent discount on regular fares on land, sea and air transport upon presentation of their duly issued school IDs, current enrollment forms or other documents to properly establish their identity.
Angara said if the bill is signed into law, students who are refused to avail of the fare discounts can directly submit their complaints to the Department of Transportation (DoTr).
The DoTr is then tasked to promptly refer it for urgent action to one of its attached agencies: the LTFRB, Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) or even the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA).