Solon wants ‘boundary’ In bus firms abolished

BUS drivers and conductors accompanied Reps. Teddy Casiño (Bayan Muna) and Rafael Mariano (Anakpawis) yesterday in filing a bill that they said could be the “ultimate solution” to traffic jams and accidents caused by public utility buses.

House Bill 3370 titled, “Bus Drivers and Conductors Compensation Act,” aims to require public utility bus (PUB) operators to grant fixed salaries to bus drivers and operators.

This way, it was said, there will not be a need for them to rush and hog the road just to get as many passengers as possible.

The industry practice is for bus owners and operators to set a commission of 9% for drivers and 7% for conductors from the gross fare collection plus bonuses for exceeding certain amounts. Drivers and conductors who do not meet the daily quota are deprived of the coveted bonus or worse, shoulder half the cost of fuel to be deducted from the gross collections thereby reducing their commissions.

Such a system, said Casiño, “fosters fierce competition among buses, each trying to outdo and outflank the other on the road in getting more passengers.”

Sometimes, accidents are caused by tired and sleepy drivers who are forced to work for 16-20 hours straight.

In 2008, the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) recorded 4,325 bus accidents in Metro Manila or a daily average of 13 accidents involving buses. In the early part of 2009, the incidents were pegged at 10 per day. According to the data, most fatal accidents happen during the noontime and morning rush.  D’Jay Lazaro

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