By Analou De Vera and Erma Edera
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has ordered bus companies to fixed salary and performance-based incentive to their drivers and conductors effective on Saturday, March 9.
“Kailangan bayaran na po sila ng tamang sahod at tamang overtime, kung merong overtime. Hindi kagaya noon na by commission,” said Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III on a radio interview Tuesday.
[They (bus drivers and conductors) should be paid with the right salary and overtime pay unlike before that it is based on commission.]
“March 9 magsisimula na ang computation ng kanilang daily wage. Kagaya ng ordinary employees na po sila [On March 9, the computation of their daily wage will start. They are now ordinary employees],” he added.
Bello said that bus operators should welcome this measure as it is another way to ensure a safe transportation for commuters.
“They should welcome this dahil they have to consider na iyong kanilang driver, konduktor, minsan nagkakaroon ng aksidente dahil kadalasan iyong ating mga driver kung anu-anong ginagawa para magkaroon ng maraming pasahero para lalaki ang kanilang komisyon. Delikado iyon,” explained the labor chief.
[They should welcome this because they have to consider that some drivers and conductors are involved in accidents; as some drivers are resorting to some ways to have plenty of passengers in order to have more commission. It’s dangerous.]
Failure to comply with the measure will result to the revocation of their franchise, said Bello.
Based on the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) Guidelines No. 1 Series of 2019, bus operators shall implement “a mutually-agreed upon” compensation scheme for drivers and conductors, taking into consideration the revenue, ridership, safety, specific conditions of routes, and “other relevant parameters.”
“The fixed wage component shall be an amount mutually agreed upon by the public utility bus owners and/or operators and the driver/conductor and shall be paid in legal tender. It shall in no case be lower than the applicable minimum wage for work performed during normal hours/day,” the NWPC stated.
The performance-based component, meanwhile, will be based on business performance, safety performance, and other factors.
The NWPC also said that bus drivers and conductors are also entitled to other “wage-related benefits” such as overtime pay, nightshift differential, service incentive leave, 13th month pay, and holiday and premium pay.