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DOTr: Students to get free railway fares; airport, seaport terminals fees to be waived

CLARK CITY, Pampanga —The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Thursday announced that students would get free rides from government-operated railway lines and free terminal fees in all airports and seaports across the country.

“Ililibre namin ang pamasahe ng lahat ng estudyante sa MRT-3, sa LRT-2, sa PNR, libre ang terminal fee sa PPA, terminal fee sa airport,” Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said at a press briefing here. 

Transportation Undersecretary for Rails Timothy John Batan, for his part, said the free rides in MRT-3, LRT-2, and PNR will take effect on July 1, Monday.

Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) Administrator Rey Berroya said the free rides for students will be available on select hours — 4:30 a.m. to 6 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Philippine National Railways (PNR) General Manager Junn Magno said free rides for students will be from 5 a.m. to 6 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

For MRT-3, students will enjoy the free rides from 5 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Director General Jim Sydiongco said the waiving of terminal fees on all CAAP-operated airports will be available “in a month’s time” as the agency still needs to iron out the mechanisms on how to implement the initiative.

For his part, Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) General Manager Jay Santiago said students will enjoy free terminal fees on all 114 seaports starting July 16.

To avail of the free rides, students need to fill up an application form on the websites of DOTr, MRT-3, and LRTA to get a “Student Free Ride ID.”

For the pilot run on July 1, Tugade said students only need to present their student IDs until such time they secure a “Student Free Ride ID.”

The Transport chief also noted that students until undergrad/college level as well as those taking vocational/technical courses can avail of the free rides.

The free ride will only be available on weekdays. Students cannot avail of the free services on holidays.

“This is to give students incentives to go to school early and go home early... As we give benefits or free transport expense, we are trying to create a culture for a true student,” Tugade said.

The Transport chief said the initiative will be reviewed after three months to see what can be further improved.

“Give us a window in a period of three months to see if the implementation has become more wholesome,” Tugade said. — RSJ/NB, GMA News