The proliferation of colorum public utility vehicles not only in the region but in other parts of the archipelago which are one of the major causes of traffic congestions in urban centers casts doubt on the integrity of the government’s aggressive campaign to rid the streets of running coffins and those without legitimate franchises. People observed that despite the repeated pronouncements of government officials, both local and national, that something is being done to rid the streets with colorum vehicles, the number of illegal garage vans, taxicabs, jeepneys and buses continue to increase and blatantly operate right in front of the noses of law enforcers who are left helpless because they might have received orders from higher authorities not to poke a finger on such vehicles that are illegally operating because it might be owned by their bosses among other flimsy excuses. The skyrocketing number of colorum vehicles is to the greater disadvantage of those licensed operators of public utility vehicles and most especially to the motoring and commuting public. Well, government officials are trying to kill the legitimate businesses of individuals and groups wanting to legalize their operations because they want illegal vehicles to proliferate because of the much bigger and heftier protection money that flows in the corrupt system of governance of no less than the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC).
People are now fed up on repeatedly complaining about the proliferation of colorum vehicles in their places because nothing is actually being done to curb the same. We always hear excuses such as we lack manpower and we still need to investigate on the issue from DOTC officials and employees when issues of colorum vehicles are brought to their attention. While it is true that colorum vehicles stop operating for a while after series of complaints, their operation resume unabatedly to the detriment of the motoring and commuting public and to the sacrifice of legitimate holders of franchises.
We have to remember that legitimate franchise holders contribute in the generation of government resources to pay the salaries of government officials and employees but it seems their interests are not the ones being upheld by the ones drawing their salaries from the taxes they remit to the government. Further, legitimate franchise holders guarantee the safety of their passengers through safe and defensive driving.
On the other hand, operators and drivers of colorum vehicles are always rushing against time in order to immediately reach their destinations for them to be able to make several trips to earn for the payola being given to their protectors not only in government agencies but also in the local governments and even in the police force. Colorum vehicles are not actually insured that is why victims of accidents are not entitled to compensation, except from the own pockets of the operators.
We continuously ask ourselves why these colorum vehicles can operate right in front of the noses of law enforcers when the law is harsh but it is the law. Well, no one can prohibit us from thinking that the corruption level in the operation of the colorum vehicles has reached an unimaginable magnitude that ordinary policemen on the block simply close their eyes when seeing the protected colorum vehicles pass by. It is high time for DOTC and police officials to wake up from their laurels, enforce the law to the fullest in order for the public to be guaranteed safe and secure travel to their points of origin from their points of destination. Let us no longer think of what the colorum operators pay the unscrupulous government protectors because that is just temporary but instead, let us look into the safety and security of our motoring and commuting public which is the source of our daily bread.
We cannot accept as an excuse the lack of manpower and the need to investigate on the matter as reasons why nothing is being done about the proliferation of colorum vehicles. Several heads at the DOTC regional office had to roll because of such issue but it seems the ones that replaced them are far more worst than those whom they replaced. Let us just imagine an alleged non-performing DOTC official coming to our region to attend to pressing issues and concerns regarding the complicated transport sector. Nothing has been actually done correctly to solve our transport problem that is why it has resulted to enormous problems that have gone beyond the control of even the most efficient law enforcer in town.
We challenge our officials to clear our streets with colorum vehicles in order to give back to the public traffic-less roads that they deserve. Let us not make simple things complicated by trying to confuse our people with unacceptable flimsy reasons because the more problems that it will create. Let us just learn to accept reality and work on the problem from then on without being too colorful in dealing with the region’s transport concerns.