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BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera office of the Land Transportation Office (LTO-CAR) apprehended some fifteen colorum vehicles in the different parts of the region, mostly in Baguio City, in line with the agency’s continuing campaign to address the said problem.
LTO-CAR regional director Francis Ray Almora stated that the colorum vehicles had been prepended during the first semester where the illegal operation of the said motor vehicles had proliferated because of the huge demand for inter-provincial and inter-regional transportation due to the suspension of the operation of mass public transportation.
He warned operators of colorum vehicles to stop their illegal operations because the LTO will not hesitate to go after them and impose the appropriate penalties, such as the impounding of the motor vehicle used and the payment of the fine of P200,000.
The LTO-CAR official claimed that the operation of colorum vehicles during the implementation of the various levels of community quarantine for over a year now had significantly increased that is why enforcers had also doubled their efforts to apprehend them.
He disclosed that even sports utility vehicles (SUVs) and taxis are now being used to illegally ferry passengers to their desired destinations, thus, the need for closer coordination among law enforcement agencies to abate such illegal practice that pose a serious threat to the safety of passengers primarily because they have no insurance during their travel aside from the fact that the vehicles being used have not passed LTO standards.
According to him, the operation of tourist transport services is also being closely monitored as these are also being used for colorum operations because they collect excessive fares from each of their passengers which runs counter to the franchise issued for their operations which is for hire from point to point.
Director Almora advised the public not to patronize the colorum vehicles because of the absence of their safety and security in case the vehicles will be involved in untoward incidents during their course of travel, apart from the fact that they charge exorbitant fares.
With regards the resumption of mass public transportation to avoid the proliferation of motor vehicles along the roads, he revealed that the decision of local governments on whether or not to permit the operation of public utility vehicles is being awaited to help in gradually and safely allowing the revival of economic activities and sources of livelihood for the people.
Almora stipulated that LTO enforcers will strictly implement existing rules and regulations governing the operation of vehicles to ensure that motorists are guaranteed utmost protection when travelling to their desired destinations even in the absence of mass public transportation.
He asserted that the agency simply wants to ensure that the motor vehicles allowed to travel along roads are appropriately registered to guarantee the safety and security of the people wanting to travel. By HENT