Editorial - Better Pay, Better Traffic Flow?

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http://ph.news.yahoo...-183412371.htmlThere is a significant reform in the transport sector that, if implemented properly, should not only improve the earnings of bus drivers but also minimize traffic jams in Metro Manila and other urban centers. Earlier this month the Department of Labor and Employment abolished the boundary system for bus drivers. This means bus operators must pay their drivers fixed wages in accordance with labor laws instead of basing the payment on the number of passengers ferried for the day. Drivers can still be given incentive pay based on their safety record and other performance parameters.The new system, now in effect in Metro Manila, will be expanded to the rest of the country by July. The boundary or commission system compels drivers to pick up as many passengers as possible. This means waiting as long as possible at numerous stops along a bus route, particularly in crowded spots such as in front of shopping malls along EDSA or Roxas Boulevard in front of the Redemptorist church in Baclaran, Parañaque. These spots are turned into virtual bus terminals.The boundary system has made it impossible to impose an orderly system of bus arrivals and departures, at regular intervals, at mass transport stops. Such orderly systems have long been implemented in many countries, with mass transport vehicles picking up and unloading passengers only at designated spots.There have been sporadic attempts to impose a similar system in the Philippines, but the attempts failed because of resistance not only from mass transport operators and drivers but also cops and traffic aides who accept bribes from erring drivers, or who are paid to allow mass transport operators to turn thoroughfares into their terminals.That provision for incentive pay in the new wage order can still be used by transport operators to encourage their drivers to perpetuate the old system of picking up as many passengers as possible. It will then be up to the police and traffic aides to see to it that this does not happen. Those tasked to keep vehicular traffic flowing smoothly must do their job. - (Philstar News Service, www.philstar.com)
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