Bataan Rep. Geraldine B. Roman of the First District has filed a bill that seeks to promote the rights and privileges of public land transport workers such as jeepney drivers, bus drivers, taxi drivers, tricycle and habal-habal drivers.
House Bill 5534, or the Magna Carta for Public Land Transport Workers, aims to provide social protection and welfare benefits to public land transport workers who are not covered by the Labor Code of the Philippines.
According to Roman, public land transport workers are not second-rate citizens and they deserve to be treated at par with any worker in the public sector.
“Public land transport workers are not second rate citizens. They should be treated at par with any worker in the public sector, giving them rights and benefits during their productive and retirement years,” Roman said in the explanatory note of the bill.
Roman added that public land transport workers are essential to the economy and they should be given equal opportunity to work and employment.
“Without public land transportation workers, there can be no economic activity. All must be treated equally as a minimum condition to work and employment. The principle of equal opportunity drives what this legislative measure seeks to achieve,” Roman said.
One of the objectives of the bill is to make it obligatory for public land transport workers to form federations or associations that will represent their interests and concerns.
The bill also seeks to create a presidential public land transport commission that will manage a special fund for public land transport workers. The fund will provide health and life insurance, accident insurance, retirement benefits and friendly loans to public land transport workers.
The bill also grants public land transport workers educational assistance, skills training, livelihood programs, legal assistance, and other benefits.
The bill covers all public land transport workers except those who are regularly employed by transport companies and are regularly receiving salaries and emoluments from a duly registered transport company.
The bill is pending with the Committee on Transportation since November 7, 2022.