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House Bills Seeking Cheaper Transportation Fees for Students, Seniors, and PWDs Pass Final Reading

The House of Representatives has approved on the third and final reading, House Bills 8884 and 8885. The said bills, which are set to expand the tax exemption coverage in the country, seeks to “provide cheaper transportation for students, senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs).”

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House Bill 8884

HB 8884, which was principally authored by Congresswoman Arlene Arcillas of the first district of Laguna, received a unanimous decision–“178 positive votes without abstention.”

The bill, which seeks to provide a 20 percent travel tax discount to senior citizens and PWDs on first class and economy class passages, also wants to give travel tax discounts to “students, athletes, academic participants, and pageant contestants, who bring honor to the country”.

Part of its jurisdiction also wants to amend Presidential Decree No. 1183, which grants tax exemption to: “(a) students who represent their schools and the country in international sports tournaments and academic competitions, and (b) Philippine representatives to academic conferences and competitions, to international sports competitions, and to international beauty pageants”.

House Bill 8885

HB 8885, which was principally authored by Congressman Alfred Vargas of the fifth district of Quezon City, also received a unanimous decision–“169 affirmative votes without abstention”.

The said bill seeks to “grant 20 percent fare discount privileges on public transportation for enrolled students.”  This includes all regular domestic fares of all public transportation, including land, rail, sea, and air.

“The bill seeks to address economic concerns and the alarming rate of school drop-out. This will alleviate the burden of parents and guardians in the financial support given to the students with due consideration to the continued rise in the cost of education in the country, including their incidental expenses, e.g. transportation costs,” explained Vargas.

Students can avail of the discount during the entire period that the student is enrolled, including weekends and holidays. All they have to do is to present a “duly-issued and validated identification card or current validated enrollment form that is supported by proof of identity.”

Transport operators who refuse to comply will be reprimanded. Students can file their complaints with the following government bodies: (a) Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board for land transports, (b) Maritime Industry Authority for seafaring transports, (c) Civil Aeronautics Board for air transports, (d) Legal Service of the Department of Transportation for rail, and (e) Office of the Local Chief Executive of the local government unit for tricycles.

 

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