BPO workers’ woes spur new drive vs abusive PUV drivers
The daily travails on the road experienced by workers in the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry, a sector that has swelled the number of late-night or predawn commuters in the metropolis, have led to a new initiative against abusive or criminal-minded drivers.
The Text for Safety project of the BPO Workers’ Association of the Philippines (BWAP) has opened a complaints hotline to help ensure that such drivers are caught and penalized.
Launched on the eve of Labor Day, the project is in partnership with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and technology provider Eacomm Corp.
“The purpose of Text for Safety is to assist workers traveling at night. There have been cases of call center agents becoming victims of robbery and sexual abuse. They often fall asleep while commuting because of fatigue, so we need to safeguard their welfare,” said BWAP president Ruben Torres, a former labor secretary.
“If you travel at precarious hours, you can text (the information about the driver and vehicle) to 0927-2927933. (The information) will be stored in a databank. If something happens to you, the BWAP will forward the information to LTFRB for immediate action and coordination with government agencies,” Torres added.
“If the driver is discourteous, if the bus is out of line or if the taxi driver is overcharging, send us the complaint and we will attend to the problem,” he added.
Marcelo Robosa, Eacomm chair and BWAP director for education, said that after sending the information, the complainant will get a confirmation text. BWAP could provide legal assistance for cases that would reach the courts, Robosa said.
Torres said that while BWAP’s primary concern is the safety of the more than 800,000 BPO workers nationwide, the service is available to all who regularly travel to work using public utility vehicles (PUVs) regulated by the LTFRB.
“’We are mandated… to ensure the convenience and safety of the people when they travel in the metropolis, hence this agreement is very timely and highly relevant to our road safety campaign,” LTFRB chair Winston Ginez said.
Eacomm will provide technical support for the project and will also offer Trip Barker, a phone application that provides route information around the Metro and allows users to share traffic and weather reports.
Trip Barker, a partner transit app of the Department of Transportation and Communications, can be downloaded for free on Android phones from Play Store. The app can recommend possible routes using PUVs as well as tell the distance to destination, fares and weather condition.
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