Wage Board helps Tarlac bus liner on compensation scheme

CITY OF TARLAC -- The Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) in Central Luzon recently assisted Tarlac-based CBC Bus Transit in formulating its two-tiered wage compensation scheme.

The assistance was extended during a consultation meeting with management at the Regional Board’s Office in the City of San Fernando, Pampanga.

Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) Regional Director Ana Dione, who chairs the RTPWB-3 or Wage Board, lauded the company's initiative to comply with the National Wages and Productivity Commission's (NWPCs) Two-Tiered Wage System (TTWS).

"I commend CBC Bus Transit's efforts in working together with us in their desire to fully comply and implement the Two-Tiered Wage System as well with our Labor Laws Compliance System (LLCS), which in the long run, will benefit their workers because they will have guaranteed wages, incentives, and social benefits," Dione said.

“This move by the company will motivate workers and promote productivity in the workplace which is indeed very good for business," she added.

The bus transit sought the Wage Board’s help in order to address its deficiencies found on the Joint-Assessment conducted by the Dole's Labor Law Compliance Officer.

In addition, compliance with this compensation scheme is a requirement before a franchise for a public utility vehicle company can be issued/renewed by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board.

Board Secretary Romeo Opis, along with Atty. IV-designate Rodrigo Ellaga, for the Wage Board’s part, provided the necessary technical assistance to management in formulating their part-fixed, part performance-based compensation scheme.

The Two-Tiered Wage System (TTWS), according to Opis, is aimed at minimizing the unintended outcomes of mandated minimum wage, improving the coverage of vulnerable sectors, and promoting productivity improvement.

“The TTWS consists of a “floor wage,” or an entry level for new entrants and low-skilled workers, and a flexible wage above the floor based on worker productivity and performance of the industry and enterprises which may be negotiated between employers and workers,” Opis explained.

Opis added that the reform compensation scheme was effected through the issuance of Department Order 118-12, signed by Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz in 2012.

“This Department Order prescribes the rules and regulations governing the employment and working conditions of drivers and conductors in the public utility bus transport industry,” Opis said.

Ellaga, for his part, explained to management on how the part-fixed, part performance-based compensation scheme works as prescribed under D.O. 118-12.

“The computation of wages under the fixed-wage wage-component of this Order must not be lower than the applicable minimum wage and that wages must be paid in legal tender and may be based on a time unit of work or on a per trip or kilometer basis. The computation of performance-based compensation, on the other hand, should consider business performance such as revenue/ridership and safety performance such as frequency or infrequency of road accidents and traffic violations,” Ellaga explained.

CBC Bus Transit owner Carlo Castillo, who expressed appreciation for the assistance in implementing the TTWS compensation scheme, assured full support and cooperation.

“We are very thankful and grateful for the warm assistance extended to us by the Regional Wage Board and the DOLE. We are glad we were guided in the proper computation of wages and benefits that our workers rightfully deserve. I urge other bus firms to also take the initiative to do the same in order to empower their workers as well as improve for the growth of their businesses,” Castillo said.

The Regional Wage Board and the Dole continue to cascade its programs geared towards proper implementation of the region’s applicable minimum wage and improve productivity in the workplace. (Jerry Borja/Dole-3 LCO)

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