Bus drivers welcome fixed wage, owners compain

Posted on July 7, 2012


SEVERAL bus drivers in Cebu said they welcome the labor department order requiring them to be paid fixed salaries instead of an amount based on their passenger load.

The order of the Dept. of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) to all public utility owners took effect last July 1.

“Okay ra man ng minimum ang swaeldo basta kumpleto lang ang mga benipisyo para di ta mabalaka sa atong pamilya,” said Joel Gabrillo, a 40-year- old bus driver.

(The minimum wage is okay as long as the employee benefits are complete so that I won’t worry about my family’s future.)

Gabrillo said driving buses for the past 15 years was hard since his salary is not fixed.

Take home pay is a commission that depends on how many passengers board their bus.

If there are many passengers, they receive a big amount, but if passengers are few, the amount isn’t enough.

During peak season, said Gabrillo, he receives s P400 a day.

But on ordinary days, he only receives P200 to P300, an amount he said is not enough to provide for the daily needs of his family.

With this, Gabrillo said he always hopes the seats on his bus are filled.

Bus driver Mariano Ralago, whose bus plies the Dumanjug – Cebu City route agreed that enjoying the same benefits of regular workers – overtime pay, vacation and sick leave, 13th month pay – would secure a brighter future ofor his family.

As of yesterday, the DOLE region 7 office said that no bus operator has filed yet for a compliance certificate.

DOLE Department Order No. 118 requires that all bus drivers and conductors to receive fixed salaries, incentives and other benefits from their employers.

But during DOLE’s orientation last April 16, bus operators complained about the new policy.

“Bus operators were oriented about the policy. However, we only received negative feedback and complaint from them,” said Glenn Tabon of the Central Visayas wage board.

Tabon said the business owners’ reaction was understandable but bus operators have to follow the policy or they would have problems renewing their franchise with the Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board.

Bus operators have to submit their employee compensation scheme before they can be issued a compliance certificate from DOLE. /Careen L. Malahay, Correspondent

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