Senate education committee vice-chairman Senator Sonny Angara is pushing for his proposal that will grant underprivileged students a five-percent discount on food establishments, medicines, textbooks and school supplies, as well as tuition, miscellaneous, and other school fees.
Under Senate Bill 134, Angara favors the granting of discounts on basic and education services to underprivileged students on all levels, including those enrolled in technical vocational institutions.
The former three-term congressman from Aurora, who used to be the chairman of the House committee on higher and technical education, said he filed the bill to ease students’ financial burden and help them cope with the high cost of education and daily school expenses.
The senator also said that the proposed Underprivileged Students’ Discount Act of 2016 seeks to give underprivileged students discounts on educational expenses, such as tuition, miscellaneous, and other school fees, including books and school supplies.
“Considering that we now have a law giving discounts to senior citizens, it is high time that we consider the plight of our underprivileged students who are our nation’s future,” he said.
SB 134 tasks the Commission on Higher Education and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority to determine the qualified tertiary or college and post-secondary tech-voc beneficiaries.
Not covered by the bill are underprivileged students who fail to finish the course, have stopped their schooling, and previously convicted of any crime.
The bill provides for tax incentives to establishments that would grant discounts to underprivileged students, while establishments that would refuse to grant discounts would be penalized with one to four-week suspension of their license to operate and would be fined with not less than P20,000 but not more than P50,000.
“If passed into law, this Senate bill will definitely encourage students from financially struggling families to pursue their dreams by finishing their college education or their vocational trainings,” Angara added.