Jinggoy wants fixed salaries, working hours for bus drivers

Senator Jinggoy Estrada is seeking to pass a measure that would give bus drivers a minimum wage and fixed working hours, on top of government benefits.

Under Senate Bill (SB) No. 48, bus operators must twice a month pay their drivers and conductors a salary that is not less than the minimum wage fixed by law.

Operators should also limit their drivers and conductors’ working hours to only eight hours daily, including a one-hour rest. A two-shift system must be implemented, the measure added.

“A simple computation will show that drivers currently earning P900 a day and working more than 12 hours a day for three days a week will receive almost the same income based on the minimum wage for those working eight hours a day for six days. The difference is that under this proposed legislation, drivers will get enough rest while operators will spend almost the same amount for salaries,” Estrada said in filing the bill.

The government must also mandate additional benefits, including those from the Social Security System (SSS), Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (Philhealth) and PAG-IBIG, to the drivers and conductors.

Estrada made the move as he said some road accidents involving buses occur because of “tired and sleepy drivers who are forced to work for more than 16 hours a day.” He says “poor working conditions and unfair boundary or commission-based systems” causes this.

“With the assurance of fixed salaries on a regular basis, PUB drivers and conductors will no longer be pressured or be forced to work beyond humane working hours. Serious accidents and traffic problems involving those buses will also be significantly lessened,” he said.

Source: Manila Bulletin