Students to get free train rides at certain hours starting July 1
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Thursday announced free train ride and exemption from terminal fees in airports and piers for students starting July 1.
As part of the "Malasakit" ( concern) initiative of the Department of Transportation, Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade launched the Student Free Ride Program in Clark, Pampanga.
Under the new program, undergraduate, trade, arts, technical and vocational school students can avail free rides at MRT-3, LRT-2 and PNR from Mondays to Fridays (except on holidays) starting Monday.
According to DOTr, MRT-3 rides are free for students from 5 am to 6:30 am and 3 pm to 4:30 pm. For LRT-2 students are not required to pay fare from 4:30 am to 6 am and 3 pm to 4:30 pm.
PNR rides are free for students from 5 am to 6 am and 3 pm to 4 pm.
For the first phase of the program, DOTr said the students need to present their valid school IDs to avail free rides. There will be application for Student Free Ride ID will be available online or at Malasakit Help Desks in train stations soon, the department said.
PNR General Manager Junn Magno added students will soon not have to wait in long lines.
"We will give an anti-cut off pass for the students so they can arrive in their schools on time. They don't have to wait in the regular line," Magno said.
Students are also exempted from passenger terminal fee in all piers owned and managed by Philippine Ports Authority (PPA).
DOTr said the exemption will be effective starting July 16.
Students from elementary to college, including those who are studying in vocational and technical institution,s can avail of free passenger terminal fee.
DOTr added that senior citizens, PWDs (persons with disabilities), and active uniformed personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP), and Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) are entitled to the fee exemption.
"We will hasten the process in 114 seaports in the country so it can be implemented by July 16," PPA General Manager Jay Daniel Santiago said.
Charges for terminal fee in airports managed by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) will not apply for students in elementary to college, vocational and technical schools.
From August 1, students have to show valid school IDs or registration cards with photo to avail exemption in terminal fees.
But DOTr said Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA), and Clark International Airport (CRK) - which are not handled by CAAP - will not be included in the program.
According to Tugade, the program will have a three-month trial period.
"We're not looking for a perfect implementation. We will improve as the implementation goes on. At least, the students will immediately experience and avail the benefits," he said.
He added that the initiative aims to ease transportation of the students and their parents.
"President Rodrigo Duterte said we should be part of the education of our youth because education is the foundation of growth of any nation. We encourage the students to practice the culture of punctuality, in return is free fares and terminal fee," Tugade explained.
"Let us look at this as a gain, not a loss. Let's see it as a genuine concern in the part of the government. We will see how much this (program) will help the students. This is a huge help for the students and their family," he added. Cristina Eloisa Baclig/DMS