CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – As part of the initiative to professionalize thousands of its drivers, a conglomerate of bus companies teamed up with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority in Region 10 (Tesda-10) and other agencies for a series of enhancement trainings slated throughout the year.
“Drivers of the Yanson Group of Bus Companies (YGBC) may already be skilled in driving, but they still need more training that would ensure the safety of their passengers and their own on the road,” said Jomar Colinares, skills enhancement and learning center coordinator of the Rural Transit Mindanao Inc. (RTMI) in an interview Friday (Feb. 7).
The RTMI is one of the subsidiary bus companies of YGBC, the country’s biggest bus firm operating in Mindanao. Other subsidiaries include the Mindanao Star Bus Transport Inc. and Bachelor Express Inc.
The program was started by YGBC founder, the late Ricardo Yanson, in the mid-2000s at Bacolod City where the conglomerate’s main headquarters is located.
In the past, drivers from Mindanao were made to travel to Bacolod to undergo the said program. But later on, the YGBC management decided to bring the training to its subsidiaries in the south where it maintains branches in the cities of Dipolog, Pagadian, Cagayan de Oro, Butuan, and Davao.
Colinares said the one-week seminar and workshop “is part of the training and development of our drivers, as requirement for the issuance of driving [National Certification] III by Tesda.”
The driving NCIII is issued by Tesda and determines the competency of a driver.
The training has been made possible through a memorandum of agreement signed by YGBC and Tesda a few years ago.
For this year, more than a thousand drivers from the Mindanao subsidiaries are expected to participate in the training. It will be held every month and free of charge as part of the YBGC-Tesda MOA.
Colinares said YGBC has adopted the policy of subjecting its drivers and conductors to enhancement trainings as part of the professionalization program of its employees.
The drivers are given modular courses on stress management, moral values, self-awareness, customer service, safety awareness, emergency response, and traffic rules and regulations by representatives from Tesda, the Philippine Red Cross, Phil. National Police, and Land Transportation Office.
Tour attendants (conductors), Colinares said, are also given a seminar by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas on currency identification to help them detect counterfeit money when receiving fares from passengers.
Alex Sabella, Tesda-10 training officer, said they will focus on two modules: first with RA 4136 or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code, specifically on the traffic rules and regulations and the duties and responsibilities of the drivers.
“This is to raise their awareness and to deepen their knowledge in driving. All of them are skilled drivers, but what about the traffic rules and regulations? That’s what we want to instill in them,” he said.
Tesda will also teach the drivers about defensive driving.
The modules, Sabella said, are requirements by Tesda for drivers who want to obtain an NC III.
Guadalupe Tinoy, Tesda-10 assessment officer, said it is the agency’s role to make sure the participating drivers are properly assessed prior to the issuance of NC III.
For Arthur Abellero, Mindanao Star Bus Transport Inc. driver for 23 years, the module on customer care was very helpful as he realized that dealing with passengers is also important in his job.
“The training has reminded us to take care of our passengers and ensure that they arrive on their destination safe and sound,” he added.(davaotoday.com)