Press Release
February 14, 2019


PANGASINAN--In a bid to further reduce out-of-pocket expenses related to education, reelectionist Senator Sonny Angara is now pushing for a 5-percent discount on restaurants, medicines, textbooks and school supplies of impoverished students in all levels under a proposal aimed at encouraging more Filipino families to send their children to schools.

Even with implementation of the Free College Education Law and expansion of the government's scholarship system, Angara said poor families still have to shell out significant amounts for their children's education.

"Ginagawa po natin ang lahat para masigurong wala nang dahilan para hindi makapagtapos ng pag-aaral ang ating mga anak sa pamamagitan ng mga batas na ating nagawa at kasalukuyang isinusulong," said Angara, who is seeking a second term as senator in the May midterm elections under the platform Alagang Angara.

Angara is one of the authors of both the Free College Education Law and the bill institutionalizing the grant of 20 percent fare discounts to students even during weekends and holidays and which covers all means of transportation all-year round. The student fare discount bill is now awaiting the signature of President Duterte after it was approved by the Senate and the House of Representatives.

The senator issued the statement while campaigning in Pangasinan, which is home to close to 60 higher education institutions, including Pangasinan State University whose main campus is located in Lingayen City and which has nine satellite campuses across the province.

Angara's Senate Bill 134 or the proposed Underprivileged Students' Discount Act seeks to grant covered poor elementary, high school and college students, including those enrolled in technical-vocational institutions, a 5-percent discount on food establishments, medicines, textbooks and school supplies, and on entrance fees to museums and cultural events.

During a hearing conducted by the Senate education committee in January 2017, the Commission on Higher Education said that tuition only comprised 30 to 40 percent of a family's out-of-pocket education expenses.

According to Angara, the 5-percent student discount, along with 20-percent student fare discount, will help unburden underprivileged students and their families from getting an education.

"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.

SB 134 also provides tax incentives to establishments that would grant discounts, while those that would refuse would be penalized.

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