By the end of 2014, all bus drivers and conductors will be receiving a fixed wage from their companies, hopefully reducing road accidents in the process.
That is, if everything goes according to the plan of the Department of Labor and Employment.
She explained that after a bus accident in 2013, she issued a department order requiring bus operators to acquire from them a labor standards compliance certificate (LSCC) before they can get or renew their franchise.
Baldoz could not recall what bus accident prompted her to issue the department order, but said it was not the one involving the Don Mariano bus that fell off the Skyway and killed 19 people.
The LSCC serves as proof that firms conformed with Department Order No. 118-12
, which sets the minimum labor standards, including the requirement for bus owners or operators to adopt a "mutually-agreed upon part-fixed, part-performance-based compensation scheme" for their drivers and conductors.
On Monday, Baldoz said she does not have the exact figures on how many bus operators have so far received LSCCs.
But a December 2013 DOLE statemen
t quoted her as saying that in the National Capital Region, they have issued LSCCs to 78 bus companies which translates to 3,561 buses employing 3,927 drivers and 3,632 conductors.
Baldoz said they included this as one of the requirements because giving these workers a fixed salary will hopefully reduce the number of road accidents.
"[Ayon] sa study na pag commission basis, ang tendency mo makipag-karera ka, makipag-unahan ka sa pagkuha ng pasahero dahil paramihan kayo ng pasahero, paramihan ng kita," she said.
"So iyong public interest na involve sa ating mga transport services have to be protected and that’s why ang suggestion is, siguraduhin sila na may minimum wage na maiuuwi," she added.
The labor secretary said they monitor compliance with this through their unions and labor management committees. She said President Benigno Aquino evn approved 372 additional plantilla posts to ensure that there will be personnel who will check the compliance of firms to labor standards.
She said they only took a break during the holiday season but that they have resumed monitoring.
If operators are caught violating the labor standard on salary, she said they will be made to pay employees double of what they should have received. — Kimberly Jane Tan/RSJ, GMA News