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DOLE certifies 89 Zambo del Norte bus drivers as competent
posted 6-Oct-2012  ·  
Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz sees bus passengers all over Zamboanga del Norte benefiting much from safe bus travel as the Department of Labor and Employment, through its attached agency, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), had already certified 89 bus drivers in the region as competent.

"This move will also benefit the region's bus drivers and conductors, as their being certified competent will boost professionalism in the bus transport sector, eventually benefiting other sectors of the economy, such as the tourism sector," said Baldoz in a media statement.

The labor and employment chief made the statement during her brief visit last week to the famous Shrine City of Dapitan, the national hero's, Jose Rizal's, place of exile in Zamboanga del Norte. During the visit, Baldoz handed out the Certificates of Competency, or NC III, of the 89 bus drivers assessed and certified as such by the TESDA. She also inducted the officials of the province's Industry Tripartite Council-Bus Transport sector.

The induction formally established and set into action the ITC as a DOLE partner in fostering labor-management cooperation on addressing concerns and challenges confronting the province's bus transport sector.

It also paves the way for the smooth implementation in Zamboanga del Norte of D.O. 118-12, Series of 2012, the Rules and Regulations Governing the Employment and Working Conditions of Drivers and Conductors in the Public Utility Bus Transport Industry, which will redound to the benefit of bus drivers and conductors and ensure their safety as well as the safety of bus passengers.

"I welcome the establishment of the ITC in the Bus Transport sector in the Zamboanga Peninsula. I hope you will truly live up to your pledge to use the ITC as a mechanism to resolve the problems in your industry which you alone can address because you are familiar with these problems, promote labor-management cooperation and self-governance, and raise productivity and competitiveness," Baldoz said.

"On the other hand, the training, assessment, and certification of the region's bus drivers will lead to a professional corps of drivers in the bus transport sector that could be a boon to health and safety which in turn will attract more passengers, including tourists," she added.

TESDA Regional Director Lorenzo Macapili informed the Secretary that the TESDA had assessed 187 bus drivers in compliance with D.O. 118-12, but only 89 had passed and been certified.

"We will soon train those bus drivers who did not pass the assessment," he assured Baldoz.

The distribution of the NC III certificates and the induction of the ITC-Bus Transport officers were the culmination of the DOLE Regional Office No. 9's conduct of a two-day learning session on the DOLE's occupational safety and health program held for stakeholders of the Zamboanga Peninsula bus transport industry.

The learning session covered such topics as the establishment of a health and safety committee, drug-free workplace, anti-sexual harassment, HIV/AIDs program, anti-TB policy program, and other updates on D.O. 118-12.

Inducted into office were Engr. Luis Jerry Biel IV (D'Biel Transportation), Chairman; Elidel Arcillas (Lizamay Express), Vice Chairman for Management; Jovencio Banaybanay (RTMI), Vice Chairman for Labor; Aracile Albor (Starlight Express), Secretary; Dante Alga (Alga Liner), Treasurer; Arthur Doller (RTMI), Auditor; and Joselito Biel (D'Biel Transportation), Information Officer.

DOLE Regional Office No. 9 Director Sisinio Cano, who accompanied and hosted Secretary Baldoz during the visit, was also inducted as a member of the Board of Directors, together with Director Marjuc Jumrani, NCMB; Joel Ijirani, RTWPB; Richard Lim; Jung-Jung Apatan; Cirilio Dimasapal; Florencio Dogrea; Sabino Gallo; Robert Dionaldo; Dejay Anion; Romel Gregorio; and Rodel Luna.

The ITC in the bus transport sector in the Zamboanga Peninsula was organized on 14 September 2012 in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay. As part of its assistance, the DOLE regional office had already conducted learning sessions for members of the ITC on the Tripartite Industrial Peace Council and Industry Tripartite Council and their roles and significance; on D.O. 118-12; and on Road Safety, Occupational Safety and Health in the Transport Industry. The ITC had already prepared its Action Plan for implementation.

Meanwhile, in the National Capital Region, Regional Director Alan Macaraya reported to Secretary Baldoz that as of end of September 2012, the DOLE-NCR had already issued Labor Standards Compliance Certificate to 49 bus companies covering 218 franchises and 2,437 buses and involving 3,123 bus drivers and 2,832 bus conductors.

"We continue our close monitoring of bus companies complying with D.O. 118-12 as part of our efforts to strictly implement the order, even as we are happy to note that the LTFRB, as reported, is also doing its part in ensuring that our bus drivers and bus conductors are protected under the provisions of D.O. 118-12," Baldoz said.
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