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National

No SC injunction vs salary scheme for bus drivers, conductors - spokesman

InterAksyon.com
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA, Philippines -- The Supreme Court has not issued either a temporary restraining order or status quo ante order preventing the Department of Labor and Employment from enforcing a plan to pay bus drivers and conductors regular wages and doing away with the “boundary” system.

Lawyer Theodore Te, the high court spokesman, wrote to correct the article, “SC injunction stopped enforcement of fixed-salary rule for bus drivers – DOLE,” posted December 17 in InterAksyon.com.

The article reported on Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz’s explanation of why she could not comply with an order from Malacanang to ensure bus companies comply with labor rules on minimum wages and regular working hours for bus drivers and conductors.

The order was given following Monday’s accident, in which 18 persons died after a bus of the Don Mariano Transit Corp. fell off the Skyway in Taguig City.

The salary scheme is meant to help ensure safety by freeing up bus crews from working as long as 19 hours a day to earn enough from their shares of the fares, which has been cited as a major cause of accidents.

Te cited relevant portions of the report: "The labor chief, however, noted her agency’s hands are tied because of a Supreme Court injunction issued in July 2012, on the petition of bus owners rejecting the salary scheme for drivers. She said the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) had issued DOLE Order 118-12 in January 2012, requiring bus companies to be “labor law-compliant” (LLC) before they are issued a franchise by the Land Transportation Franchise and Regulatory Board…

The high court issued an injunction in July 2012, favoring the petitioners -- effectively stopping in its tracks an interagency reform that was meant to once and for all check the alarming, steady rise of road crashes in the country, with estimates showing one accident occurs per seven minutes in Metro Manila."

“This is factually inaccurate,” Te wrote. “The SC did not issue an injunction or TRO or Status Quo Ante Order in connection to this case.”

Te also attached a copy of the July 11, 2012 SC resolution in GR No. 202275 "The Provincial Bus Operators Association of the Philippines v. DOLE" in which “the Court resolved to defer the issuance of the SQA Order and require respondents to comment.”

“Please note that the July 11 Resolution ‘supersedes the action taken by the Court En Banc on July 10, 2012 on the same matter’," he stressed.

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