MANILA - Some bus firms may shut down due to looming revenue losses over a Supreme Court decision affirming the legality of a wage scheme that gives bus drivers and conductors fixed salaries and additional pay for good performance, a transport leader warned Monday.
The high court, in a ruling released last week, dismissed the petition of the Provincial Bus Operators Association of the Philippines (PBOAP) and transport groups that questioned the wage scheme that was set in 2012 by the labor department and transport regulators.
Some bus firms, however, are already incurring losses over high fuel and maintenance costs, even without the wage scheme that will replace the commission or boundary-based payment system for drivers and conductors, said PBOAP executive director Alex Yague.
"Wala po tayong magagawa kundi sumunod [sa Supreme Court], pero ang magiging epekto po niyan, maraming magsasara na bus company po," he told radio DZMM.
(We cannot do anything but obey the ruling, but the effect of that will be the closure of many bus companies.)
Aileen Lizada, member of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, maintained that the new salary system will entice drivers to follow traffic rules as they would no longer need to rush to load passengers in order to take home a commission.
The new wage rules, she added, will discourage drivers from working long hours and abusing drugs to stay alert.
"Sa mga bus companies, operators, we know that you need to earn money. Pero intindihin po natin na itong mga bus drivers din natin. At their prime, at their youth, binibigay po nila lahat para sa inyong kumpanya," she said in a separate DZMM interview.
"Sana naman din po, sa ilan-ilan na hindi pa nagko-comply, you give what is due to your driver," she added.
(To the bus companies, operators, we know that you need to earn money. But let's also understand that these bus drivers, who are their prime and youth, are giving everything for your firms. To the few who have yet to comply, we hope that you give what is due to your driver.)