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Free rides stress DoTr’s ‘heart’



The Department of Transportation (DoTr) and its lines agencies are implementing President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to help give Filipinos a comfortable life by providing students with free train rides and waived airport and port terminal fees.

“As per the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte for us to support the education of the youth, we are implementing a mass impact program. We are making free the train fare of all students and waive their terminal fees in airports and seaports,” declared Tugade in a press briefing on the Students’ Free Ride Program Thursday at the DoTr headquarters in Clark, Pampanga.

“This program is our way of saying and showing that this department has a heart and cares for the people especially the students,” Tugade added.

Tugade said the free LRT 2, MRT 3 and Philippine National Railway (PNR) train rides for all students except those taking up graduate studies will start 1 July initially for the first hour of operation and one hour in the afternoon with students needing only to show their school ID cards to the Malasakit help desks in each station to get a pass.

The free train ride for students is good only on weekdays and select hours in the morning and afternoon.

LRT 2 rides for students will be from 4:30 a.m. to 6 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., said Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) Administrator Reynaldo Berroya. LRTA is

The free PNR train rides for students will be from 5 a.m. to 6 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., said
PNR General Manager Jun Magno.

The free MRT rides will be from 5 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., said MRT 3 Director for Operations Mike Capati.

Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines Director General Jim C. Sydiongco said 40 domestic and international airports under the agency will give free terminal fees to students.

Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) General Manager Jay Santiago said the free terminal fee for students in all PPA or public ports also applies to senior citizens, persons with disability, soldiers, police officers and coast guards starting 16 July, when the guidelines are finished.

Tugade shrugged off concerns that the airport, port and train operators will lose revenues from the program.

“The best earning is not from the business but from the service or when we see people smiling. That’s the best return on investments we can have, when the population and when the stakeholders are smiling and are happy,” the secretary said.

Tugade added that students can use the money otherwise spent on fare to buying spread for their bread or additional school supplies.