Commentary

20% student fare discount from habal-habal

If you are a bona fide student, can you ask for a 20% discount from the habal-habal driver?

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) in the past mandated a 20% student fare discount through mere regulation, without explicit statutory authorization. On April 17, 2019, Republic Act No. 11314 was approved, institutionalizing the grant of student fare discount privileges on public transportation.

The term “student” in the law is defined to include only Filipino citizens who are currently enrolled in a duly authorized elementary, secondary, technical-vocational, or higher education (college) institution. Those taking post-graduate degree courses (such as masters’ or doctorates, and including law school) as well as short-term courses are excluded.

All public transportation utilities such as, but not limited to, public utility buses (PUBs), public utility jeepneys (PUJs), taxis and other similar vehicles-for-hire, tricycles, passenger trains, aircrafts and marine vessels, are included.

Now here’s a question: if you are a bona fide student, can you ask for a 20% discount from the habal-habal driver?

The short answer is no.

The reason is because a habal-habal is NOT a public transportation utility as far as our laws our concerned. PUBs and PUJs, taxis as well as Transportation Network Vehicle Services (TNVS) such as Grab and Angkas, are regulated by the LTFRB. Tricycles and pedicabs (trisikads) are regulated by the Municipal and City Governments, by virtue of Sections 447(3)(vi) and 458(3)(vi) of the Local Government Code. No statutory authority exists for the municipal and city governments to regulate habal-habals, and so they remained unregulated, and being unregulated, they are not classed as public transportation utilities, and thus you cannot ask for a 20% discount.

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