• Lifetime ban on erring drivers eyed

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    A lifetime ban should be imposed on erring drivers of both public and private vehicles to reduce killer road accidents, a House leader said Tuesday.

    Rep. Elpidio Barzaga of Dasmariñas City, Chairman of the House Committee on Games and Amusements, made the pitch a day after 22 people and 20 others were injured as a result of the speeding Don Mariano Transit bus flying off from Skyway in Taguig City en route to jamming a van along South Luzon Expressway.

    “The Land Transportation Office should revoke the licenses of reckless drivers and implement a lifetime ban to discipline them. Somehow, this would force the drivers to be careful knowing that their livelihood is at stake,” Barzaga, a lawyer, pointed out.

    Based on eyewitness accounts and videos from the Close Circuit Television Cameras, the driver of Don Mariano Transit named Carmelo Calatcat violated the 60 kph limit—a limit enforced when it is raining. Further, the said bus’ tires were also already worn out.

    “The LTFRB should cancel also all the franchises of erring bus companies to set an example and also protect the public. Otherwise, nothing will change. We need consistency here,” Barzaga added, referring to the Land Transportation Franchises and Regulatory Board.

    The seven-strong Makabayan bloc of lawmakers, for their part, filed a measure requiring fixed salaries for bus drivers or the Bus Drivers and Conductors Compensation Act of 2013.

    Under the said measure, all persons who have been issued a Certificate of Public Convenience to operate a public utility bus service shall pay their public utility bus drivers and conductors as compensation for work performed a fixed monthly salary which is not be less than the minimum wage fixed by law, plus benefits and incentives.

    Further, all operators of public utility bus service should require their drivers to observe the following work scheme: driving hours not exceeding eight hours inclusive of the rest period; a two-shift system and a least one hour rest per working day.

    For any violation of this proposal, the operator of any public utility bus service will be slapped a fine of P100,000 to P200,000 and suspension of the franchise to operate, provided, that the suspension of the franchise to operate will only be until such time that the operator has complied and paid the drivers and conductors of their back wages and appropriate benefits. LLANESCA T. PANTI

     

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