Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis- Baldoz yesterday said that 22,492 workers in the bus transport sector–11,519 drivers and 10,973 conductors–are working for bus companies certified by the DOLE, through its 14 regional offices, to be compliant with labor standards pursuant to D.O. 118-12, or the Rules and Regulations Governing the Employment and Working Conditions of Drivers and Conductors in the Public Utility Bus Transport Industry.
“I have been informed by the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) that as of 30 June, the DOLE’s 14 regional offices have issued labor standards compliance certificates (LSSCs) to 857 bus companies as proof of their compliance with D. O. No. 118-12. These companies are giving regular pay and other mandatory benefits to their drivers and conductors who are manning their buses,” said Baldoz.
The 857 bus companies own and operate 10,184 buses nationwide, according to Baldoz.
“As a matter of policy enunciated through D.O. 118-12, the DOLE implements the strategy to improve the productivity of bus companies and their workers through fixed and performance-based pay and the provision of social security and welfare benefits to bus drivers and conductors,” Baldoz explained.
D.O. 118-12, issued on 13 January 2012, is a reform measure to ensure public road transport safety by improving the working conditions, compensation, and competence of bus drivers and conductors. It aims to reduce traffic violation incidence and other vehicular accidents, among other productivity gains.
Under D.O. 118-12, the DOLE, through its regional offices, issues Labor Standard Compliance Certificates (LSCCs) as proof of a bus company’s compliance with the provisions of the order on terms and conditions of employment, social security benefits, occupational safety and health standards, and most especially, in the payment of the part-fixed and part-performance pay.
Baldoz reminded bus owners and operators that the LSCC is a requirement of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LFTRB) for the renewal of their bus franchise. An LSSC expires after one year.
The LTFRB established the requirement through Memorandum Circular No. 2012-001 which it issued shortly after the DOLE conducted a rapid survey of bus drivers, conductors, and operators on the working conditions and compensation schemes in the bus transport sector. The circular not only ensures road transport safety, but also links labor standards compliance with franchise regulation.
The NWPC report showed that 76 out of 97 bus companies in Metro Manila have renewed their LSCCs as of 30 June after they have been found to be compliant with D.O. 118-12. These 76 bus companies operate 4,464 bus units and employ 4,262 drivers and 3,974 conductors.
In the Cordillera Administrative Region, 30 out of 76 bus companies employing 98 drivers and 81 conductors manning 98 buses have been issued LSCCs. In Region 1, there were 514 bus companies with 549 buses employing 545 drivers and 544 conductors that have secured their LSCCs.
LSCCs have also been issued to 66 out of 75 bus companies with 333 bus units and employing 502 drivers and 366 conductors in Region 2.
In Region 3, the DOLE Regional Office No. 3 has issued/renewed LSCCs to 34 bus companies operating 1,049 buses with 1,383 drivers and 1,359 conductors and in the CALABARZON, 22 companies operating 1,221 buses with 1,383 drivers and 1,359 conductors have received their LSCCs.
In the Bicol Region, the DOLE Regional Office has awarded LSCCs to 75 out of 79 bus companies with 509 running bus units employing 509 drivers and 509 conductors. In Region 6, only four out of 15 bus companies with 733 buses manned by 1,113 drivers and 1,025 conductors have also been issued LSSCs.
In Region 7, only one out of 37 bus companies has received an LSCC. The said bus company has 2 bus units manned by two drivers and the same number of conductors. There are 27 bus companies with 142 buses employing 157 drivers and the same number of conductors have been issues their LSCCs in Region 8.
In Region 9, three bus companies with 59 buses manned by 59 drivers and 59 conductors have also received their LSCCs, while in Region 10, only three of the 17 bus companies have renewed their LSCCs. The said bus companies operates 285 buses manned by 612 drivers and 601 conductors.
In Region 11, the DOLE Regional Office has renewed the LSCCs of 46 out of 59 bus companies. These bus companies operate 723 bus units and employ 937 drivers and 1,044 conductors. In Region 12, a bus company operating 159 buses with 159 drivers and the same number of conductors have secured the required LSCCs.
In encouraging bus companies to comply with labor standards, Baldoz said the DOLE stands ready to assist micro, small, and medium enterprises improve their productivity so they can be competitive. She also said the DOLE continues to strengthen mechanisms for labor law compliance particularly in the vulnerable sector to attain inclusive labor justice.