By Evan Michael Clerigo, Davao Today Intern
DAVAO CITY — As classes opened this week, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) reminded all commuters to refrain from patronizing colorum or unregistered private and public vehicles to avoid inconvenience.
Yuri Lim of the law enforcement section of the LTO, said the LTO and Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) has launched Oplan Balik Eskwela Program to control the traffic and to ensure the safety of students and passengers.
Lim said that LTO has deployed mobile units and motorcycle units in strategic schools such as at Ateneo de Davao High School, Precious International School of Davao, Magallanes Central Elementary School, Kapitan Tomas Monteverde Sr. Elementary School, and Davao City National High School.
“Every day, there would be mobile and motorcycle units from LTO, three times a day —from opening of classes in the morning, lunch, and afternoon—to ensure safety of students, parents, and the passengers,” Lim added.
He added that their team are directed to observe and inspect carpools, especially in private schools.
“Inspection for carpools is continuous. Carpools are mostly from private schools, and we’re still surveying for their routes for future information for future operations of colorum especially for carpoolers,” Lim said.
He added that unmarked carpools are believed to be colorum vehicles, and warned that if these colorum vehicles still continue to operate, they would expose them in public.
Most drivers and operators of colorum vehicles avoid additional government expenditures, franchise credited, and other taxes. Lim also added that colorum vehicles mostly operate on the areas convenient to them.
“‘In case of vehicular accidents, insurance claims of passengers will not be covered by the colorum vehicles,” said Lim.
Lim emphasized that “operators of colorum vehicles’ purpose is purely profit, and income related to compensate their expenses”.
Lim assured that passengers are safe in legitimate vehicles as they are covered under the policies and regulations by the LTO and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
“Let us cooperate and help each other to fully stop these colorum vehicles. They will soon stop when we stop patronizing them,” said Lim.
As of Thursday, June 16, Oplan Balik Eskwela has apprehended more than 50 cases of illegal parking—LTO still cannot release data for apprehended colorum carpools.
Lim tells “public can contact them through their hotline 285-7158 or 225-3158 to report cases of colorum vehicles and other traffic violations.” (davaotoday.com)