Students will soon have an easier time going places—literally! After all, just recently, President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law the Republic Act 11314 or the Student Fare Discount Act, which mandates a 20 percent discount on all local public transportation fares for land, sea, and air travel. This includes airlines, transport network vehicle services (like Grab), and passenger ships, all year-round!
While students currently enjoy discounted fares for most land travel vehicles such as jeepneys, buses, UV express, and tricycles, sea and air travel options are still such a burden for them—especially for those whose families reside in the provinces.
But this won’t be the case anymore! Students from grade school to college may avail of the discount all-year round, including holidays, provided that they are enrolled for the current school year and are able to present their school IDs or any valid enrollment forms. Post-grads, medicine and law students, and those enrolled in short courses or special classes are not covered by the law.
But before planning your trips, first know that the discount only applies to your ticket’s base fare and cannot be used when availing of promo fares imposed by private airline companies. The law also only covers domestic trips.
For international travel, students will be exempted from paying the P1,620 travel tax if the trip is for education, training, or participation in a competition—they just have to show documents proving that they’re traveling for these purposes.
The law comes after the Department of Transportation announced the free train rides at select hours during weekdays (not including holidays) for students, which started on July 1. The Student Fare Discount Act is supposed to take effect after 15 days upon signing—which is most likely next month.
“Every day, more than 30 million students from elementary to college travel to and from schools, so the enactment of the law is a big help for them and their families,” said Sen. Sonny Angara in an interview, as he was first filed the bill in 2007 when he was still a member of the House of Representatives.
“So now students will enjoy the same privilege granted to senior citizens and persons with disabilities,” Angara added. The senator also said that he is pushing for discounts on other expenses such as meals, medicines, and school supplies for underprivileged students.