One way to help offset the rising cost of fuel in the country is by carpooling. Instead of several motorists each taking their own vehicle out, everyone just bunches up inside one car. Less fuel consumed and less space taken up on the road—it’s a win-win if you ask us.
Now, a new bill filed in Congress wants to incentivize the practice by offering carpoolers worthwhile freebies and discounts.
Under House Bill no. 143, also known as the Carpool Act of 2022, drivers of vehicles carrying four or more license holders will be entitled to free parking, discounts at toll plazas and gas stations, and even exemption from the number coding scheme.
The devil is in the details, though. The free parking incentive will only be available at establishments “run or under a contract with the government and any of its agencies and instrumentalities.” Private establishments, on the other hand, are only required to offer a 50% discount.
As for the discounts on expressways and gas stations, it’s set at 20%. That’s 20% off at all expressway toll plazas in the Philippines, and 20% off all fuel products.
And being exempted from the number coding scheme? That pretty much speaks for itself.
To avail of these discounts and freebies, at least four passengers (including the driver) of a vehicle must be able to present a valid Land Transportation Office (LTO) driver’s license. Establishments that refuse to abide by these regulations may be fined as much as P100,000. Jail time is also on the table here.
Interesting. Of course, this is nowhere near becoming law yet.
How to carpool safely with your kids
Whether you are going to carpool or your kids, make sure to observe these safety precautions.
1. Always know the driver
In the US, carpooling is common for their kids, especially when going to school. If you plan to do this for the upcoming face-to-face classes, it is important that you know and trust the driver. He/she should be a relative, friend, or neighbor that you trust.
2. Educate your children
At an early age, you can already teach your children basic rules such as wearing a seatbealt, maintaining cleanliness, or what to do if they are left alone in the car. You can also teach them to talk to you whenever they feel unsafe in the car.
3. Observe health protocols
Wear a face mask at all times, and don't forget to disinfect your hands before and after riding the car as courtesy to the other passengers. Don't remove your mask while inside the car to prevent spread of the virus.