New wage scheme for bus employees starts July 1
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) - Starting Sunday, July 1, bus companies will now be required to pay bus drivers and conductors fixed wages and give them benefits.
The new salary system is based on the Department of Labor and Employment's (DOLE) Order 118-12, which gives bus drivers both a fixed wage and a commission component.
The order outlines the two tiers of the salary: a fixed wage that should not be lower than the applicable minimum wage set by the government, and a commission that varies according to the employer's net revenues.
The drivers' maximum work hours will now also be limited to 12, with a minimum of one-hour rest time. Social security, PhilHealth, Pag-IBIG, and other benefits are also mandated by the order.
This replaces the old scheme where bus drivers and conductors earn solely based on commission, which in turn is based on their daily earnings from their trips.
Job security and safety are two of the major considerations for the implementation of the new scheme.
Aside from this, DOLE Order 118-12 also outlines basic benefits that should be accorded the said workers, including:
- holiday pay
- overtime pay
- rest days
- night differential pay
- 13th month pay
- paid leaves
- paternity and maternity leaves
- medical leaves
- retirement benefits
"We have the political will and the support of our tripartite partners, as well as of the bus transport sector, to fully and effectively implement D.O.118-12 starting 1 July because this is for the health and welfare of bus drivers and conductors and for the comfort and safety of bus passengers. This is for the public good and interest," Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said in a statement Saturday, June 30.
Despite only 35 out of 158 companies complying as of Sunday, Baldoz said she won't extend the deadline for them to submit their compliance to the new rules. The labor chief also commended 8 operators who complied with the new directive way before the July 1 implementation. The other 28 companies were scheduled to submit their Labor Standard Compliance Certificate (LSCC) by the implementation date.
Bus employees are now guaranteed to earn a fixed amount and receive benefits, and this is envisioned to lessen their rush to pick up passengers, reducing road accidents and traffic congestion especially in major thoroughfares.
The Labor department is overseeing the implementation of the order, in cooperation with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, Metro Manila Development Authority, National Wages and Productivity Commission, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Occupational Safety and Health Center, and the DOLE regional offices in the National Capital Region, Central Luzon, and CALABARZON.
Bus companies' compliance with the order will be assessed this week, said Baldoz. Those found to not comply will be given 5 days to apply the new scheme, or else they will be sanctioned.
Additional training will also be conducted to help companies and employees adjust to the DOLE Order. - Rappler.com