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Mentors deserve discounts, too

House Bill 4129 or the Teachers Fare Discount Act stated that teachers mold the character of the youth and deserve help from the government.

Keith A. Calayag

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Why just now? Teachers also take public transport which makes the proposal for a fare discount long overdue.        YUMMIE DINGDING

If the law provides for discounts to students, why not teachers?

A bill filed in the House of Representatives seeks to give teachers a long-sought 20 percent fare discount on all modes of public transportation, including railways.

For air and sea travel, the discount will apply to domestic travel.

House Bill 4129 or the Teachers Fare Discount Act, stated that teachers mold the characters of the youth and deserve help from the government even through simple ways, such as a reduction in their daily expenses.

The privilege, however, may only be used during school days.

The proposed discount covers buses, jeepneys, taxis, tricycles, the LRT (Light Rail Transit) and MRT (Metro Rail Transit) systems, airlines, passenger ships and transport network vehicle services, like Grab.

No need for extra ID

Once enacted, teachers only need to present their employee identification cards or their professional regulation commission identification card to get a discount.

Bill proponent partylist Manila Teachers Rep. Virgilio Lacson said the measure seeks “to assist teachers in the fulfillment of their noble profession of instilling life skills and values to school children and to better recognize and appreciate their contributions to nation-building.”

“It is incumbent upon the State to grant fare discounts to teachers, helping them in making ends meet, enabling our teachers to focus more on the practice of the teaching profession,” he added.

Successful plan for studes

The proposal was apparently a follow up to the Student Fare Discount Act, which President Rodrigo Duterte signed last July.

The discount scheme previously covered only land transportation.

Students just have to show their school ID or a validated enrollment form together with a government-issued ID.

If students are not given the discount by the transportation service, they can complain to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) for land transportation, Civil Aeronautics Board for air transportation, and Maritime Industry Authority for sea or water transportation.

The bill provides for penalties on drivers of land transportation utilities, including tricycles, who refuse discounts to teachers.

The sanctions range from a one-week suspension of driver’s license for the first offense, two weeks suspension on the second offense and three weeks suspension plus a fine of P1,000 for each subsequent offense.

The fine will be paid by the owner or operator of the land transportation utility.

Serious penalties set

The discount will also be required on public transportation that requires prior booking.

Denying the privilege will mean penalty for the operator of P1,000 for the first offense, P5,000 for the second offense, P10,000 for the third offense and an increment of P5,000 on top of the penalty for the third offense for each subsequent offense.

For trains, the operator shall be liable with its employee responsible for the refusal or failure to give discount for a fine of P1,000 for first offense, P5,000 for second offense, P10,000 for third offense and additional increment of P5,000 on top of the penalty for the third offense for each subsequent offense.

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