There’s no way to sugarcoat the plight that our country’s public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers face: They just aren’t paid enough. This is especially important to keep in mind as the Philippines faces a struggling economy and fuel crisis.
A piece of legislation designed to address this problem has once again been filed: Senate Bill No. 289, also referred to as the Comprehensive Assistance Program for Public Utility Vehicle Drivers Act.
If the bill is turned into law, the monthly salary of public utility bus (PUB) drivers “shall not be less than the minimum wage fixed by law and shall be paid in cash at least once every two weeks.” What’s more, PUB drivers cannot be mandated by operators to work for more than eight hours straight.
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It has also been proposed that PUB drivers be covered by the Social Security System (SSS), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth), Home Development Mutual Fund or Pag-IBIG, and Employees Compensation Commission (ECC). PUV operators are also mandated to pay “the equivalent amount of the monthly contribution paid for by the PUV drivers in the said social welfare services.”
The measure was first filed in the Senate back in 2011 as Senate Bill No. 2908. It was refiled in July 2022 as Senate Bill No. 289 and its legislative status is currently pending. Do you think this will make it into law?