Bus drivers' pay: Talks underway to add commission on top of minimum wage
The commission earnings system, which government transport agencies had said was the incentive for bus drivers to race against each other on the road and raising the danger of fatal mishaps, could soon return.
Assistant Secretary Dante Lantin of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) said Friday that negotiations are underway between bus firms and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
The bus companies are negotiating with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to still allow drivers to transport more than their quota of passengers to earn commissions, assistant secretary Dante Lantin told GMA News Online Friday.
“Mga drivers mismo ang nagsasabi na hindi sila mabubuhay sa minimum wage lang, dahil mas malaki natatanggap nila sa komisyon. Pag combination ng komisyon at minimum wage ‘yun ang kanilang pinag-uusapan,” Dantin said.
This after DOLE issued last year an order providing minimum wage to drivers and conductors of regardless of their number of passengers to minimize road crashes. The DOLE circular is suspended as the labor department is negotiating with bus companies, Lantin added.
Drivers and conductors of buses and jeepneys have to breach a quota earned from their trips so they could take home a profit, or locally known as “komisyon,” the transport official explained at the sidelines of a book launching of journalist Lourdes “Chit” Estella-Simbulan who was killed in a road crash.
Chit Simbulan, a veteran journalist of news organization VERA Files, was killed in May 13, 2011 after a taxi she was riding was hit by two buses in front of the UP-Ayala Technohub along Commonwealth Avenue.
A road safety advocate, Chit's husband Roland Simbulan said the payment with minimum wage could “minimize the risks” in road crashes since drivers would no longer be compelled to race against each other to reach their quota.
“(Through the minimum wage), they would already have a fixed wage so at least may makukuha na sila kahit hindi nila mareach ang quota,” said Simbulan, who also heads road safety organization Families of other Road Victims and Survivors.
Asked whether the bus lines’ request to maintain the quota could still encourage over speeding, Chit’s husband said: “At least kaysa naman sa wala. Sa ngayon kasi puro boundary (ang hinahabol nila, which is) a cause of road crashes.”
Simbulan has filed charges of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide and damage to property against Universal Guiding Star bus driver Daniel Espinosa and Nova Auto Bus driver Victor Ancheta, who were both accused of being responsible for Chit's death. The bus drivers are out of jail on bail. — ELR, GMA News
Talk of the web