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Party-list group assures driver insurance, fuel subsidy

A drivers’ party-list group has vowed to push for the continuation of insurance and fuel subsidy to drivers if reelected into Congress in the May 9 elections.

In a press briefing Sunday evening, Dumper PTDA (Drivers United for Mass Progress and Equal Rights – Philippines Taxi Drivers Association) Rep. Claudine Diana Bautista-Lim said they are proposing the institutionalization of insurance and subsidies for the transport sector.

Lim said the proposed measure is part of the Magna Carta for Public Transportation Drivers Bill, which her party will advocate for the next term.

“We already filed it for 2019 or 2020 but it was not yet approved by Congress. I will push for this to improve the lives of the public transportation drivers,” she said.

Lim said the proposal is among the issues raised by drivers, including the spiraling prices of fuel in the country and the impact of the public utility vehicle modernization program.

Likewise, she considers accident insurance and medical coverage as a top priority considering that drivers can hardly afford these.

The rights being advocated in the bill include the employer-employee relationship, right to a living wage, prohibition of the boundary system, and maximum hours of work.

It also includes rest periods, holidays, rest days, overtime pay, night shift differential pay, five days of service incentive leave, 13th month pay, maternity/paternity pay leave, retirement pay, and other similar government-mandated benefits.

The bill takes in the right to security of tenure, observance of required standards of due process, such as the requirements of notice in cases of termination.

Lim admitted that the sudden increase in fuel prices affected the lives of the drivers which prompted her to push for the suspension of the fuel excise tax.

However, since Congress is on session break during that time, the measure was not tackled, she said.

“It needs to have a consensus or a joint hearing between the Congress and Senate, but we were pushing it and we are prepared for it,” Lim added.

Source: Philippines News Agency