The House of Representatives just approved House Bill 8885 on its final reading on February 4. The Senate previously passed their version of the bill last October 1, 2018. It is entitled the “Student Fare Discount Act” and it institutionalizes “the grant of student fare discount privileges on public transportation and for other purposes.” The next step in the legislative process is for both bodies of Congress to reconcile each version of the measure before sending it to the Executive office.
So what exactly does this bill cover? It imposes a mandatory 20% discount for students on all public transportation utilities, whether by land, sea, or air. Some examples of this are including but not limited to public utility buses, public utility jeepneys, taxis (and similar vehicles-for-hire), tricycles, passenger trains, aircrafts, and marine vessels. It does not cover school/shuttle/tourist service or any contracted service.
Who can avail of this discount? A Filipino citizen enrolled in any elementary, secondary, technical and vocational, or higher education institution. They will need to present a valid school ID or enrollment form together with a government-issued ID. It will apply during the entire period the student is enrolled, even on weekends and holidays. Those taking post-graduate degrees or informal short-term courses are not included in the discount.
How will this be enforced? A student who is refused the discount may file a complaint with the LTFRB (land transportation), MARINA (sea transportation), or CAB (air transportation). Various penalties will apply to those who violate the law. Any individual who fakes student documents for the purpose of the discount will likewise be punished.
The purpose of the bill is to “empower students by enabling them to pursue their education, helping them acquire gainful employment, thereby securing their future.” Fingers crossed that this bill passes into law soon!
Are you in support of this bill? Why or why not?
Sources: House Bill 8885