SENATOR Sonny Angara pushed for the passage of a bill that seeks to grant discount on books, school supplies and other basic services to underprivileged students in all levels in the country.
“Balik eskwela na naman. Siguradong excited na ang mga bata mamili ng mga bagong gamit sa school, pero para sa mga magulang, panahon na naman ito ng malaking gastos. Kaya natin ipinanukala ang pagbibigay ng diskwento upang mapagaan ang gastusin ng pamilya sa pag-aaral,” said Angara, a known advocate of educational reforms.
Under Angara’s Senate Bill 134, underprivileged elementary, high school and college students, including those enrolled in technical-vocational institutions, will be entitled to a 5-percent discount on textbooks and school supplies, food establishments, medicines, and on museums, theaters and cultural events.
To qualify, the parents of the student should have a gross annual income of not more than P150,000. Working students can also be qualified if their income combined with their parents’ annual gross income would not exceed P150,000.
Student discount cards, which will be valid anywhere in the country, will be issued as proof of eligibility.
All qualified students will also be granted a 5-percent discount on tuition fees, miscellaneous and other school fees by both public and private schools where they are enrolled in.
Such discount would not preclude underprivileged students from availing other educational assistance provided by the school and the government.
“Habang libre na ang tuition sa high school at kolehiyo, malaking bahagi pa rin ng gastusin sa pag-aaral ang libro, school supplies, uniform at araw-araw na baon ng mga bata para sa pamasahe at pagkain,” said Angara, one of the authors of the Free College Law, and whose father, the late Senator Ed Angara, was the principal author of the Free High School Law.
“Our proposed student discount aims to ease the financial burden of underprivileged students and their families to help them cope with the high cost of education and daily school expenses,” he added.
Angara is also the author of a separate bill that grants 20-percent student fare discount on land, rail, sea and air transport even during summer breaks and holidays.
SB 134 provides for tax incentives to establishments that would grant discounts, while those that would refuse to give discounts would be penalized.