A bill at the House of Representatives seeks to give teachers a 20% discount on regular domestic fares in public transportation utilities, a move that was done to help teachers ‘make ends meet’.
Filed by Manila Teachers party-list Representative Virgilio Lacson, House Bill 4129 will not only help teachers ‘make ends meet’ but will also make society recognize their valuable contributions to building the nation. With the fare discount, teachers will be more able to focus on their job of instilling skills and values to students, instead of worrying about their finances.
Under the proposal, the teachers will only need to present their duly issued and validated school employee’s ID to avail of the 20% discount on regular domestic fares. This applies to all kinds of public transportation utilities. In the absence of validated school employee ID, the teachers can also present their Professional Regulation Commission ID.
Photo credit: Popular Mechanics
If enacted into law, drivers and operators who refuse to give fare discounts could be penalized. Depending on the gravity of the violation, they could face suspension of their driver’s license or asked to pay fines.
Teachers who are refused the fare discount could file a complaint through the following agencies:
- the Office of the Local Chief Executive for tricycle
- the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) for land public transportation utilities
- the Legal Service of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) for rail transportation utilities
- the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) for sea public transportation utilities
Transport Groups Express Concern
Several transport groups do not agree with the idea of giving teachers a 20% discount, particularly because the same is already given to senior citizens, students, and PWDs.
“Kung mabibigyan pa ng discount yung lahat ng teacher, baka naman pati naman ang mga manggagawa ay humingi na rin ng discount sa amin. Kapag dadagdagan pa yang ganyang tinatawag na kabawasan ng kita, halos ano pa ang kikitain ng mga driver?” asked Alliance of Concerned Transport Organization president Efren De Luna.
Many also pointed out that though teachers earn a low income, drivers earn less.
“Minimum wage nga sila pero mas malaki ang kita ng teacher kesa sa mga driver. Kasi kami walang fixed na kita. Kung talagang ipagpapatuloy nila yan, taasan nila ang pamasahe namin,” explained Zeny Maranan, the chairperson of the Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines.
LTFRB technical division chief Joel Bolano said that they will listen to arguments from both sides to balance the interest of both the education and the transport sectors.
“Kailangan balansehin natin. Pag-aaralan ito at kukunsultahin ang mga stakeholders natin,” Bolano said.