So far, a total of 7,046 drivers and 7,033 conductors from the 152 bus companies will be receiving regular pay. These bus companies have been issued labor standards compliance certificates (LSSCs), which is a requirement not only to apply for the application and renewal of franchises with the Land Transport Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), but also for labor inspections by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). There is no word yet as to what kind of benefits these drivers and conductors will be receiving.
I’m a firm believer that the road etiquette (or lack thereof) of bus and jeepney drivers is something that needs gross correction. But as much as we’d like to say their poverty doesn’t justify their road behaviors, we have to admit that these bus workers have it hard. We’ve taken for granted our Social Security System (SSS), Phil-Health, and Pag-Ibig benefits, which are privileges that actually can help us in times of need, even give us pension when we retire. These are things public utility drivers and conductors don’t have. We even have paid vacation leaves that pay us while we’re out getting some rest and relaxation. But when bus drivers decide to extend even their lunch breaks, they’ve just upped the chances of not getting any dinner tonight.
Needless to say, these public transport workers really do have a lot working against them, and they’ve worked themselves to the core. With Department Order No. 118-12, we hope that these workers can get some of the unnecessary load off their shoulders, so we can get some unnecessary traffic off our streets, because at the end of the day, aren’t we all “naghahanap-buhay lang”?