CAGAYAN de Oro City––With road accidents involving buses still rising despite the 60kph to 100kph speed limit imposed along various highways, Rep. Rufus Rodriguez of the second district of Cagayan de Oro city is keen on checking the working conditions of bus drivers as this may be the cause behind their reckless driving.
Rodriguez recently filed House Resolution 1410, which directs the House Committee on Labor and Employment to investigate the working conditions of bus drivers nationwide and recommend measures to improve such conditions for public safety.
“There is a need for Congress to seriously consider the existing working conditions of the bus drivers and see whether giving them a fixed rate or fixed working hours will solve the problem,” said Rodriguez. “Maybe we should even look into giving additional incentives for drivers so that they would be more careful in their driving.”
Rodriguez cited the data gathered by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, which revealed that there were 4,825 bus accidents in 2008 for an average of 13 mishaps per day while 1,488 bus accidents were tallied in the first five months of 2009.
“These accidents are usually caused by erring and over-speeding bus drivers who drive with reckless abandon without even considering the consequences of their style of driving,” Rodriguez added.
The solon believes that implementing fixed salaries for the drivers and conductors is one solution to the problem. Currently, bus companies reportedly pay their drivers and conductors on a commission basis and, “to earn more, most of them disobey traffic rules and often overload on passengers,” Rodriguez shared. The congressman also said that many bus drivers work for 14 hours and that their lack of sleep can result in exhaustion.