Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday said the DOLE will provide assistance to the drivers, conductors, inspectors, and other workers of the Don Mariano Transit Corporation who were displaced from their jobs following the Land Transportation and Regulatory Board (LTFRB)’s decision to strip the said bus company of its franchise.
“DOLE-NCR Regional Director Alex Avila has reported that he has sought the assistance of the NCR Bus Transport Industry Tripartite Council for possible employment of the affected workers, subject to their hiring policies,” said Baldoz, adding that the BTITC was established to address the labor and employment issues affecting workers and management in the bus transport sector.
Director Avila in his report said that DOLE-NCR has also proposed to provide livelihood to the displaced workers during a meeting with the union and management of DMTC on 30 January 2014.
“Avila has already requested the DMTC union, through union president Bienvenido Amojar, to submit a feasible livelihood project for possible funding. DMTC Operations manager Elmer Buban and bus inspector Edmund Parungao were also present during the said meeting,” Baldoz said.
She added that both union and management representatives have informed DOLE Regional Office- NCR that the bus company has already paid all wages and wage-related benefits, such as 13th month pay and overtime pay, since these were all integrated in their regular payroll pursuant to the implementation of the two-tier wage system.
About 321 workers, including 79 drivers and 107 conductors, were affected by the revocation of franchise of the Don Mariano Transit Corp. following an investigation of the Land Transportation and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
On December 16 one of the 78 buses owned and operated by the Don Mariano Transit bus company figured in a major accident while traversing the Skyway. The driver of the said bus lost control and the vehicle plummeted from the Metro Manila Skyway and landed on a van, killing a total of 20 people.
The LTFRB, chaired by Winston Ginez, had imposed a 30 day suspension of the entire fleet of Don Mariano Transit, and revoked of its franchise on 14 January 2014.
The DMTC management informed the DOLE Regional Office-NCR that the management has allowed its drivers and conductors to do extra work at their sister companies, such as Nova Transit and Commuters Transit.
Meanwhile, Baldoz announced that 532 public utility bus (PUB) companies with 8,946 bus units in 14 regions have been certified to be labor standards compliant pursuant to Department Order No. 118-12, or the Rules and Regulations Governing the Employment and Working Conditions of Drivers and Conductors in the Public Utility Bus Transport Industry.
“As of 30 November 2014, the DOLE’s Regional Offices have issued labor standards compliance certificates (LSSCs) to 532 bus companies as proof of their compliance with Department Order No. 118-12. This means that workers of these bus companies are now receiving fixed pay and other mandatory benefits in addition to performance based pay,” said Baldoz.
The 523 bus companies employ 10,604 drivers and 10,010 conductors.
The labor chief added that the ultimate goal of D.O. 118-12 is the safety of not only the drivers and conductors, but also of passengers and pedestrians.
“Compliance with D.O. 188-12 will help these bus companies improve their productivity resulting to lesser incidence of traffic violations and other vehicular accidents,” said Baldoz.
D.O. 118-12 mandates a fixed and performance-based pay and provision of social security and welfare benefits to the drivers and conductors. The LSCC is a requirement of the DOLE during labor inspections and of the LTFRB in application and renewal of franchise.