LTFRB Thumbs Up on Fixed Salary Scheme for Bus Drivers
The Supreme Court (SC) recently upheld the legality of a part-fixed and part-performance salary scheme for bus drivers, a decision that earned the approval of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), with the board saying that the move can help promote safer and more reliable transportation for commuters.
“We are steering away from the purely commission basis at kailangan part-fixed and part performance based,” LTFRB Board Member Aileen Lizada said in a radio interview. “To the bus operators: You need to give what is due to the drivers. Let us be more compassionate and considerate.”
Lizada said that the old salary scheme, which was solely commission-based, encourages risky behavior on roads because bus drivers and conductors seek to maximize their earnings. This also opens them up health hazards as a result of longer working hours and poor working conditions.
“Ang commission is based on the number of riderships. Kaya ang mga drivers gusto nila mas maraming riders mas maraming trips. Ang nangyayari ang mga buses are no longer safe and convenient to the riders. In the long run talo rito ang mga bus drivers lalo na ang mga pasahero,” Lizada explained.
The SC junked a petition filed by four bus associations–the Provincial Bus Operators Association of the Philippines, the City of San Jose Del Monte Bus Operators Association, Inter City Bus Operators Association, and Southern Luzon Bus Operators Association, Inc.–asking to invalidate the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) Department Order 118-112 requiring bus operators to establish a part-fixed and part-performance salary scheme for their drivers that shall not be lower than the approved minimum wage in the region that a bus company belongs to.
The High Court’s ruling maintains that the DOLE’s directive was done in accordance with the agency’s quasi-legislative powers and is “reasonable and are not in violative of due process” since it is designed “to enhance the economic status of bus drivers and conductors, and to promote the general welfare of the riding public.”