Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis- Baldoz yesterday said that 517 public utility bus (PUB) companies with 9,063 bus units in 13 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  31 October, the DOLE’s 16 regional office have issued labor standards compliance certificates (LSSCs) to 517 bus companies as proof of their compliance with D. O. No. 118-12. These companies–which the DOLE through the regional offices is monitoring–are now giving regular pay and other mandatory benefits to their drivers and conductors who are manning these buses,” said Baldoz, citing an update report from the National Wages and Productivity Commission.

The  517 bus companies employ 10,650 drivers and 10,035 conductors.

The labor and employment chief explained that as a matter of policy enunciated under D.O. 118-12, the DOLE is helping these bus companies improve their productivity that results to lesser incidence of traffic violations and other vehicular accidents, among other productivity gains.

“The ultimate goal of D.O. 118-12 is the safety not only of the drivers and conductors, but also of the passengers and pedestrians,” said Baldoz.

D.O. 118-12 mandates a fixed and performance-based pay and provision of social security and welfare benefits to bus drivers and conductors. The LSCC, on the other hand, is a requirement of the DOLE during labor inspections and of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board in the application and renewal of bus franchises.

Baldoz noted that in Metro Manila alone, 97 bus companies have been issued  LSCCs after they have been found to be compliant with D.O. 118-12. These 97 bus companies operate 3,561 bus units and employ 3,927 drivers and 3,632 conductors.

In the Cordillera Administrative Region, 76 bus companies with 251 bus units and 266 drivers and 225 conductors have been issued LSCCs, while 131 PUBs  with 261  buses employing the same number of drivers and conductors have secured LSCCs in Cagayan Valley.

LSCCs have also been issued to 34 bus companies operating 1,049 buses with  1,340 drivers and 1,371 conductors in Central Luzon, and 22 companies having 1,221 buses manned by 11,383 conductors and 1,359 drivers have received their  LSCCs in the CALABARZON region.

In the Bicol region, the DOLE regional office has awarded LSCCs to 68 bus companies with 385  bus units and which employ 501 drivers and 379 conductors. In Region 6, four PUBs with 733 buses manned by 2,139 drivers and 1,026 conductors have also been issued LSSCs.

In Region 7, a bus company with two buses manned by two drivers and two conductors have received their LSCCs.  In Region 9, three bus companies, with 59 buses manned by 59 drivers and 59 conductors, have also received their LSCCs, while in Region 10, three bus companies with 285 buses and which employ 301 drivers and 307 conductors now have LSCCs.

In Region 11, the DOLE regional office has awarded LSCCs to 30 bus companies which operate 711 bus units and employ 796 drivers and 865 conductors. In Region 12, a bus company with 159 buses and employs 159 drivers and 159 conductors  have secured the required LSCC.

Baldoz said  more companies will be  given the LSCCs before the end of the year.

“The DOLE regional offices are continually assisting bus companies with pending application for LSCCs, especially in developing their fixed and performance-based compensation scheme,” Baldoz said.

End/Let Maring