Press Release
March 3, 2019


Reelectionist Senator Sonny Angara has expressed hope that the bill seeking to institutionalize and expand the 20-percent student fare discount to include air and sea transport will be passed into law before students return to their home provinces for the school summer vacation.

Angara said the proposed discount would make the summer break more enjoyable and economical for students and their families, especially those who work hard and regard travel as a necessity rather than a luxury.

"Students need not have to wait for promo fares. They should be given a regular discount on air and boat fares as they return to their home provinces for their summer vacation, starting this April," said the senator, who is running under the platform "Alagang Angara."

Angara, who has been pushing for a student fare discount law since he became a member of the House of Representatives, authored and sponsored Senate Bill (SB) 1597 to expand the coverage of the student fare discount to air, water and trail transport all year round, including weekends and holidays.

In the present 17th Congress, Angara chaired the Senate Subcommittee on Education that heard and sponsored the committee report on the student fare discount bill.

The Senate approved the bill on third and final reading as early as October last year, while the House of Representatives passed its own version only last month. Angara was part of the bicameral conference committee and sponsored its report in the Senate.

The enrolled bill will be transmitted to Malacañang for President Duterte's signature once signed by officials of the Senate and the House.

Under the circular issued by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, students get 20 percent discount on land transport like jeepneys and buses.

But by making the student fare discount permanent and year-round, Angara said, it would lessen the hardship of parents in sending their children to school as it would cut down their transportation expenses.

"A few pesos or centavos saved from the fare discount can be used for other school requirements," he pointed out.

According to the lawmaker, more than 20 million public and private students stand to benefit from the institutionalized student fare discount.

"This is especially more significant to the indigent and underprivileged sector that rely on public transport services," said Angara, a known advocate of educational reforms and one of the authors of Republic Act 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act which guarantees free tuition and other miscellaneous fees in state universities and colleges.

Under the proposed student fare discount law, all Filipino students--from elementary to college, as well as those enrolled in technical-vocation schools--would be entitled to a 20-percent discount on buses, jeepneys, taxis tricycle, transport network vehicle services or TNVS, MRT, LRT, and airline and passenger ships upon presentation of their duly issued school ID or current validated enrollment forms.

Students may avail of the discount on regular fares not only during school days and summer classes, but also on Saturday and Sunday, Christmas break, Lenten break, semestral break and school summer vacation.

Angara has been filing the measure since the 14th Congress during his second term as representative of the lone district of Aurora province. He first filed it under House Bill (HB) 147 in July 2007.

After it failed to pass in the 14th Congress, Angara refiled the bill in the next congresses--HB 90 in 2010, SB 203 in 2013 and SB 945 in 2016.

Angara served as Aurora congressman for three terms since 2004 prior to being elected for a six-year term in the Senate in 2013.

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