Civil Engineering student Joselito Derudar was excited to come home in Masbate to spend time with his family this holiday season.
However, his trip was delayed when the bus conductor rejected him to avail his 20 percent discount as a student.
“Sabi noong papuntang Pilar P750 raw [pamasahe] minus P150. Malaki na kasi iyong P150. Syempre sa isang estudyante nag-aaral ka pa lang wala ka pang sweldo kailangan namin ng pera,” he said when he reported the incident to authorities.
Michael Aresco, the conductor defended that they couldn’t give student discounts because classes were on break and the holidays already started though it is still a weekday.
“‘Pagka wala kasing pasok nakalagay doon sa may taripa, fare matrix may nakalagay doon na during school day may discount pero kapag walang pasok, no discount,” said Aresco.
Eventually, an LTFRB officer came and reminded the conductor to allow Joselito and other students proper discounts.
“Kakaconfirm lang po sa amin noong head namin mayroon po tayong discount estudyante as long as maprovide po iyong ID at valid po siya kahit holiday po. Kahit holiday meron po,” said LTFRB transport inspector Ian Mangaring.
In 2017, LTFRB released a memorandum circular on student discount even on days without classes, weekend and holidays.
On the start of December this year, a proposition edifying the 20% student discount has passed the technical working group in the House of Representatives.
For Joselito, it is important to have a basic knowledge on the law to be able to defend your rights in times of need.
“Nakita namin iyong karapatan namin bilang estudyante. Dapat nagbabasa ka ng batas, alam mo iyong karapatan mo bilang Pinoy. Malaking tulong na rin kasi iyong 20 percent na discount,” said Derudar. — with reports from Mai Bermudez | UNTV News & Rescue