Baldoz to ‘tell all’ on bus drivers’ plightBy Philip C. Tubeza
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz Thursday said she would reveal to the public the “true employment situation” of bus drivers and conductors after their employers challenged in the Supreme Court the new policy mandating that drivers and conductors be paid a fixed wage.
Baldoz said she welcomed the petition the bus owners filed in the high tribunal as it would provide the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) an opportunity to better explain the new pay scheme to the public, including the true working conditions of drivers and conductors.
She said the DOLE meanwhile would continue to check on bus companies’ compliance with the new wage scheme, unless the high court orders it to stop.
“The petition will provide us the opportunity to further raise public awareness and understanding of the true employment situation of drivers and conductors in the bus transport sector and, hopefully, enable us to generate public support for the reforms the DOLE is pursuing to provide our workers with the rights and benefits provided [for them] and mandated by law,” Baldoz said in a statement.
“We welcome this development—this latest challenge in our quest for reforms in the bus transport sector to provide our bus drivers and conductors with better wages, more benefits and protection, safe and healthy conditions at work, and most of all, to provide safety and comfort to our bus-riding public by ensuring traffic order and discipline,” she said.
The Provincial Bus Operators Association of the Philippines, Southern Luzon Bus Operators Association Inc., Inter-City Bus Operators Association Inc. and City of San Jose del Monte Bus Operators Association asked the Supreme Court on Wednesday to stop the DOLE and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board from implementing the new pay plan.
They asked the court to nullify DOLE Department Order 118-12 which directs bus operators to pay their drivers a fixed wage, including all mandated social benefits and a performance-based bonus that takes into account bus and passenger safety, adherence to traffic rules and regulations, ridership, and enterprise performance, among other things.
Baldoz said the bus owners were opposed to the scheme because they could lose their franchises if they did not comply with it.