Explain deferment of status quo order, bus groups ask SCBy Jerome Aning
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Four organizations of bus companies have asked the Supreme Court to explain its deferment of the issuance of a status quo ante (SQA) order on the labor department’s fixed-wage scheme for bus drivers and conductors.
Speaking through lawyers Leonides Respicio and Tomas Prado, the Provincial Bus Operators Association of the Philippines, Southern Luzon Bus Operators Association Inc., Inter City Bus Operators Association and the City of San Jose del Monte Bus Operators Association said they were “confused [over] the turn of events.”
They said that on July 10, the high tribunal stopped the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) from requiring bus companies to implement the new salary policy.
However, the next day, the bus operators said they were “shocked” to find out that the high court, in a special en banc session, had placed on hold the issuance of the SQA order. Instead, the court asked DOLE and the Land Transportation Office to comment within 10 days on the petition which sought to stop the implementation of the fixed wage scheme for bus drivers and conductors.
In a related development, the Automobile Association Philippines (AAP), the national auto club representing the motoring public with 50,000 members nationwide, said in a statement that it was in favor of the payment of regular wages to bus drivers and conductors in Metro Manila instead of the commission or “boundary” system.
“For decades now, AAP has been advocating fixed salaries for public utility vehicle drivers to make roads safer and decongest traffic,” AAP president Augusto C. Lagman said. “The commission or ‘boundary’ system whereby a driver’s earnings for the day depend on what’s left after he hands over a specific amount of the passenger fare collected to the bus operator, encourages drivers to drive recklessly in order to make as many trips and get as many passengers as possible. ”