‘Students should get refund for e-tickets bought for full price’ — Dy

April 2, 2023 People's Tonight 299 views

WITH the expected influx of travelers due to the upcoming Holy Week, Isabela 6th District Rep. Inno Dy said that students who are forced to pay the full transport fare when buying their tickets online should be refunded at terminals.

“Dapat ma-refund ang mga estudyante na nagbabayad ng full fare dahil sa online booking kapag nakapag-presenta na sila ng ID sa mga terminal. Otherwise, this would be an uneven application of the law which excludes those who by choice or circumstance purchase their tickets online,” Dy said.

Under Republic Act No. 11314 or the Student Fare Discount Act, which was signed into law in 2019, students are entitled to a 20 percent discount on domestic regular fares for all public transportation.

He lamented however that some transport companies have not been extending the discount to students who avail of online tickets.

“In fact, some companies even explicitly state that tickets that have been bought online are not eligible for discount,” the solon said.

The lawmaker said that nowhere is it stated in RA No. 11314, that tickets purchased online are exempt from the mandated 20 percent discount.

“Kung paisa-isa, hindi napapansin. Pero ngayong holiday season at libu-libo ang bibyahe upang makasama ang kanilang mga pamilya, makikita natin kung gaano karami ang naapektuhan ng pagkait ng discount na ito. Hindi naman kasi lahat may oras para personal na pumila at bumili ng ticket para lang makuha ang discount,” Dy said.

Dy said this was the reason why he filed House Bill No. 1142, which seeks to amend Section 5 of RA No. 11314, to explicitly state that tickets purchased online shall also be entitled to the discount.

If passed, RA No. 11314 would read as follows:

“SEC. 5. Student Fare Discount Privilege. – A student under this Act shall be entitled to a grant of twenty percent (20%) discount on domestic regular fares, upon personal presentation of their duly issued school identification cards (IDs) or current validated enrollment form, supported by the prescribed government-issued identification document, subject to an appropriate verification mechanism to be provided in the implementing rules and regulations (IRR): Provided, That in the case of air public transportation utilities, the discount shall only apply to the base fare or the price of the ticket before taxes and costs for ancillary services.

“In case of transportation tickets purchased online, the students are also entitled to the 20% fare discount, subject to verification provided in the IRR and the presentation of their duly issued school identification cards or current valid enrollment form upon purchase of the tickets online.”

Dy expressed hope that the House of Representatives would soon pass the bill.