Bus firms will comply with new salary scheme – DOLE

By Caroline Howard, ANC

Posted at Jul 01 2012 12:09 PM | Updated as of Jul 01 2012 08:09 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is optimistic they will get the cooperation of bus companies as they implement the order fixing the salaries of bus drivers and conductors beginning today.

Together with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), DOLE will be fielding this week composite teams to check on the compliance of 158 bus companies with the new labor policy, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said.

"This week, we will be fielding 18 teams composed of DOLE, MMDA and LTFRB to check on their compliance," Baldoz said on ANC Headlines. "We are very optimistic we will get the necessary cooperation... the necessary certification will be submitted to LTFRB and on the basis of that, we will do appropriate action."

Baldoz said the policy will cover an estimated 10,476 drivers and as many conductors.

She added bus companies that fail to comply with the order will also have five days to make corrective measures. Thereafter, they can recommend compulsary action and the LTFRB will also impose the appropriate action and penalties.

"Sa amin sa DOLE we will enforce the necessary regulation. Kung di binabayaran ng fixed minimum, we will have to compute for the necessary minimum wage and benefits due them. Kung wala silang safety health program, we will have to tell them so they can comply and put the necessary correction and institution of benefits. But in terms of suspension or cancellation of their franchise it is with the LTFRB,” she added.

Baldoz also noted they will also be ready to assist bus companies with the transition.

"We will be ready to assist them as we have been assisting them for the past six months,” she said.

Baldoz revealed a technical audit requested by the LTFRB and MMDA due to the rise in traffic accidents in Metro Manila. The audit showed that only 11% of bus companies have safety measures for their employees.

"Based on the rapid assessment, only 11% have occupational safety and health programs,” she said.

Baldoz added TESDA will also provide bus companies with additional training skills.