Senator reminds transport services to provide discounts to students

Published April 21, 2018, 11:46 AM

by Francine Ciasico

By Mario Casayuran

Senator Juan Edgardo Angara today reminded all public utility vehicle (PUV) operators including transport network vehicle services (TNVS) such as Grab that they are mandated to grant students, senior citizens, and persons with disabilities (PWDs) a 20 percent discount.

Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara (Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)
Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara (Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)

Angara, chairman of the Senate ways and means committee, issued the reminder following complaints surfacing in social media that Grab has not given discounts to students.

‘’Pinapaalalahanan natin sila na obligado silang magkaloob ng diskwento hindi lamang sa mga mag-aaral, kundi pati sa mga senior at PWD. We call on the LTFRB (Land Transportation, Franchising Regulatory Board) to look into this matter and penalize the violators,” Angara said. (We remind PUV operators that they are mandated to give discounts not only to students but also to senior citizens and PWDs.)

Angara explained that the 20 percent fare discount for seniors and PWDs are mandated under Republic Act 9442 or the amended Magna Carta for Persons with Disability, and RA 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act.

Both laws provide for a 20-percent discount on land, air, sea transportation; food and medicines, medical and dental services, hotels, sports and other recreational centers, among others, he added.

On top of the 20 percent discount, RA 9994 also grants 12-percent value-added tax exemption to senior citizens, while RA 10754 exempts PWDs from VAT.

Angara is one of the authors of both laws.

On the other hand, LTFRB’s Memorandum Circular 2011-004 granted the fare discount for students but only for land transport including jeepneys, buses, UV Express vans, taxis and TNVS, while Memorandum Circular 2017-024 allowed students to avail of the fare discount even on weekends, holidays and breaks.

Angara said he has been pushing for the institutionalization of such student fare discount by making it a law.

His proposed measure would expand the coverage of the 20% student fare discount to not only include land transport but also air, water and rail transport, and will make the discount effective all year round.

“Let’s lessen the hardship of parents in sending their children to school. One way is by cutting the transportation expenses of the students. A few pesos saved from the fare discount can be used for their other needs,” he stressed.

According to LTFRB, currently, those who fail to grant the 20 percent discount will face a P5,000 penalty for the first offense. Repeat offenders will have their unit impounded for 30 days and the operator will be fined P10,000.

Those who violate for the third time will be slapped a P15,000 fine, and have their franchise canceled.