Baldoz clarifies exemption of bus operator-drivers from D.O. 118-12
Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday issued Labor Advisory No. 4, Series of 2014, which clarified the exemption of bus operators-drivers from the part-fixed, part-performance compensation scheme under Department Order No. 118-12, Series of 2012, also known as the “Rules and Regulations Governing the Employment and Working Conditions of Drivers and Conductors in the Public Utility Bus Transport Industry”.
“We understand there are bus operators who also drive their own buses, or sideline as drivers for extra-income. In this situation, the part-fixed, part-performance compensation scheme for bus drivers and conductors shall not be applicable to him. However, the said scheme shall apply to his conductors and reliever-drivers,” said Baldoz.
She further said that pursuant to Memorandum Circular 2012-001 issued by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), all bus operators are required to secure from the DOLE a Labor Standards Compliance Certificate (LSCC) as a requirement in the application and renewal of franchises or Certificate of Public Convenience.
Baldoz also emphasized that compliance with applicable minimum Occupational Health and Safety (OSH) standards in public transport is required, regardless of the absence or existence of employer-employee relationship, or in a situation where the bus operator is the driver.
The LSCC which shall be issued for bus operators-drivers without conductors, or reliever-drivers shall indicate the exemption from the part-fixed, part-performance compensation. The said LSCC shall be automatically amended once the operator hires a conductor or driver.
The Advisory provides that DOLE regional offices nationwide are tasked to verify the pre-condition for the issuance of the exemption of bus company applicants from compliance with the part-fixed, part-performance scheme and after which to issue the corresponding certificate.
D.O. No. 118-12 contains the rules and regulations governing the employment and working conditions of drivers and conductors in the public utility bus transport industry. Secretary Baldoz issued the department order early this year to contribute towards ensuring public road transport safety by improving the working conditions, compensation, and competence of bus drivers and conductors.
Aside from listing down their employment benefits, the order also specifies a “part-fixed, part-performance-based” compensation scheme for bus drivers and conductors, with the “part-fixed” to be mutually agreed upon by the bus operators/owners and drivers/conductors, taking into account the minimum ridership requirement, and in no case lower than the applicable minimum wage.
On the other hand, the “part performance-based” compensation shall be based on safety and business performance, such as ridership, revenues, profitability, and other related parameters.