Immediate implementation of student fare discount law urged

SENATOR Sonny Angara, author of the Student Fare Discount Act, called for the law’s publication so the four transportation bodies can issue the implementing rules for the 20 percent land-sea-air fare discount to students.

“Without these two, Republic Act 11314 can’t be implemented. Students will have to wait for the Implementing Rules and Regulations or IRR but that can’t be promulgated if the law has not been published yet,” Angara said.

“The ball is now on the court of the executive branch. They must step on the gas,” Angara said.

Section 12 of RA 11314 states that the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) will issue the IRR for public utility vehicles such as jeepneys, buses, taxis and the transport network vehicle services such as Grab.

The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) will issue the IRR for airlines while the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) will set the one for passenger ships and all other water vessels.

For the rail sector, the responsibility falls on the Department of Transportation (DOTr), having jurisdiction over LRT, MRT and PNR.

Now that the students are anticipating when the discount can be availed of, Angara urged the designated agencies to “make sure that the students will not have to wait long.”

Of equal importance, he said, is “the duty of the Office of the President to have RA 11314 officially published because that is the start of the official timer that will launch the implementation phase.”

Angara explained that while President Duterte signed RA 11314 on April 17, 2019, it will only take effect 15 days after its publication in a national newspaper or in the Official Gazette, after which the concerned agencies are given 90 days to promulgate the IRR.

“But the 90 days is just the maximum. It can be issued earlier which, in this case, it should, considering the public interest the law has generated and the public good it will create. At isa pa, matagal na itong alam ng mga taga-DOTr, so dapat ang preparatory work noon pa sinimulan,” Angara said.