CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board-10 (LTFRB-10) has started on Thursday (Nov. 21) its three-day inspection of taxis to inventory the units that have been issued the franchise before launching a massive campaign to apprehend unregistered taxi units.
This is in response to complaints of the proliferation of taxis operating illegally in the city.
In an empty lot in the city’s uptown area in Upper Carmen, taxis lined up to be checked by LTFRB-10 personnel.
“We are doing a counter-check to determine if the body number we issued to taxis three years is still being used by the same units,” said LTFRB-10 regional director Aminoden Guro.
Guro said that body numbers that are no longer in use will be awarded to new franchisees.
The body number, beginning with “RX” followed by a series of numbers and painted on the side of the taxi, is a proof that a taxi is registered with the LTFRB. The registered taxis also have a sealed meter.
He said their target is to inspect 1,000 taxi units per day as they expect to finish counter-checking by Saturday (Nov. 23).
After the inspection, Guro said they will then activate the inter-agency task force composed of LTFRB, Land Transportation Office, Highway Patrol Group, the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office, and the Roads and Traffic administration (RTA).
During the City Council session on Monday, Guro told lawmakers he needs at least 10 RTA enforcers to help the task force in its anti-illegal operation, which is expected to operate within the month.
He said the LTFRB-10 is planning on getting rid of illegal taxis next year, after the conduct of a massive campaign.
“We hope that by 2020, Cagayan de Oro will be free of colorum taxis,” Guro said.
Also, Guro said many of the owners of taxis with franchise have signified their intent to register their units with the LTFRB-10. These operators are in the process of affiliating with three corporations and one cooperative.
In compliance with the Omnibus Franchising Guidelines of the Department of Transportation, the LTFRB-10 has now required taxi operators to form a corporation or cooperative before they can be issued a franchise.
In the meantime, Guro appealed to the public to patronize only taxis that have franchise.
“Please don’t ride colorum taxis. In case of accident, it will be unfortunate if passengers and their beneficiaries cannot avail of insurance because the taxi they hailed is illegally operating,” he added.
Meanwhile, Allan Gamba, of the Metro CDO Taxi Federation said in a separate interview Thursday that it should be the city government who must lead the anti-illegal taxi campaign as he noted these taxis operate within the jurisdiction of the local government of Cagayan de Oro.
The only way to eradicate these taxis with no franchise is to apprehend them. There should be a relentless anti-illegal operation by the city government with the help of government agencies like LTO and LTFRB, he said.(davaotoday.com)