MANILA — An official from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Sunday expressed hope that the next administration will criminalize “colorum” violations to alleviate the number of public utility vehicles (PUV) travelling without permits to operate.
“(We should) legislate to make colorum activity as a criminal offense,” LTFRB board member Atty. Ariel Inton said noting dispelling criticism that the Board has been “soft” on colorum violators.
“We are very serious in fighting colorum but I admit that there are several limitations that must be addressed,” he added.
Inton was referring to the limitation in the Joint Administrative Order (JAO) of the LTFRB and the Land Transportation Office (LTO) that makes them the only deputized agencies to fight colorum.
“Meaning to say that other enforcement units cannot apprehend and enforce the JAO provisions. We have a situation wherein a policeman cannot apprehend a colorum vehicle based on JAO simply because he is not deputized to do so,” Inton said.
The board member further said that the LTFRB deputized personnel do not have the violation tickets to be issued against the drivers/operators who are sought to be apprehended. Therefore, without the LTO, the LTFRB could not do it alone.
He meanwhile stressed that colorum operations is a form of economic sabotage because it unfairly competes with the legitimate franchise holders.
“If we don’t fight colorum violators then public transport will be a failure and people will no longer use it,” Inton said.
He also encouraged the next administration to review the moratorium issue and inventory of all franchise to rationalize PUVs based on the demand in the respective regions. Azer Parrocha/PNA/northboundasia.com