Tesda urges bus drivers to take gov’t certificationBy Niña Calleja
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines – After getting their much-awaited fixed wages, it is high time for bus drivers take the assessment and certification that the government freely offers to ensure the passengers safety on the road, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) said.
“The certification will ensure that public buses plying the roads are being manned by responsible and skilled drivers,” Tesda chief Joel Villanueva said in an e-mailed statement.
Villanueva said Tesda certification will also serve as “guarantee to the bus operators that they maintain a pool of qualified drivers, who would be getting fixed salary starting next week.”
On Sunday, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) began implementing the “two-tier system” which set fixed wages for bus drivers and conductors in Metro Manila.
Bus drivers no longer need to meet the “boundary,” the amount they pay to owners of the vehicles they drive, before they could get their earnings.
Officials have been blaming accidents and traffic in major roads on this system as bus drivers often tend to over speed and stay for a long time at stops to get as many passengers as they can.
“With the Tesda certification, appropriate skills and adequate pay, we believe that there will be less, if not zero accidents, on the road,” Villanueva said.
Villanueva said all offices of the agency nationwide will reserve slots for bus drivers to help them avail themselves of the free assessment from July 9 to 20 through the National TVET (Technical Vocational Education Training) Competency Assessment and Certification.
Tesda will also conduct two more schedules for the assessment on August 20 to 31 and on October 15 to 26.
Since it started the assessment and certification on bus drivers early last year, Villanueva said they have certified 3,540 drivers, from the 4,232 who underwent the valuation.
After a series of deadly road crashed traced mostly to reckless driving, the Land Transportation Office and the Department of Transportation and Communications mandated all bus drivers in Metro Manila to secure a National Certificate (NC) III from TESDA last year.
The agency also gives training to personnel of bus companies who will serve as trainers and assessors of the bus drivers as it aims to get all drivers certified by 2013.
Also last year, it issued the Training Regulations (TR) for Driving NC II and NC III to provide the minimum standard for the training of drivers of buses, trucks and other vehicles.