Benguet LTO beefs up anti-colorum drive; revenue collection up

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet — The Land Transportation Office (LTO) Benguet District had intensified its “anti-colorum” campaign, going after vans-for- hire plying several tourist spots in the province without the necessary permits.

In the process, the local agency reported higher revenues for 2017.

Arsenio Bagtang, officer-in-charge of LTO Benguet, said on Monday enforcement units had been deployed in tourist spots across the province, especially in the municipality of Kabayan, following reports of an increase in vehicles transporting passengers without the necessary documentation to operate.

Bagtang said vans were being used to transport local and foreign tourists to visit Mt. Pulag, located in Kabayan, one of the 13 municipalities of Benguet.

Kabayan is host to a big portion of Mt. Pulag national park, mummies, and the twin lakes, which have been internationally recognized as among the cleanest rivers in the world.

Bagtang, however, said enforcement units had reported that they were facing difficulties in apprehending suspected colorum vehicles, especially with the vans equipped with radio transceivers, allowing them to alert other drivers of the presence of LTO personnel conducting inspections and apprehensions.

In the drive against illegal activities like the presence of “fixers”, Bagtang said LTO-Benguet was equipped with closed circuit television cameras (CCTV) to monitor suspected activities of alleged fixers.

Various offices of the LTO, including other government agencies, are imposing a “no-fixer” policy, to encourage clients to transact directly with the personnel and prevent paying additional fees to “fixers”.

With the intensified campaign against bogus public utility vehicles, registration of motor vehicles, license fees, and penalties derived from law enforcement, the office in 2017 noted an increase in revenue.

For motor vehicle registration, the agency was able to collect over PHP81 million, surpassing its target of PHP77.15 million, or an increase of 8 percent from its 2016 collection of PHP74.9 million.

For license fees, LTO-Benguet collected PHP5.98 million, which was over and above its target of PHP3,082,370.

Collection from law enforcement also rose four-fold to PHP5.9 million vis-a-vis its 2016 collection of PHP1.71 million.

LTO-Benguet data also show an increase in the number of vehicles registered from 30,444 in 2016 to 35,161 in 2017.