CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY , Philippines – The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board-10 (LTFRB-10) has asked the city government to help the agency in going after operators and drivers engaged in illegal operation of public utility vehicles (PUVs).
This is in response to complaints on the proliferation of “colorum” taxis or those without franchise in the city.
Aminoden Guro, LTFRB-10 regional director, said he has asked the Roads and Traffic Administration (RTA) to provide them with at least 10 enforcers to assist them in their anti-“colorum” operations.
Based on LTFRB-10 records, the city has 2,770 taxi units with franchise, and around 300 taxis without franchise.
Guro said his office lacks personnel to apprehend violators regularly.
He added that the LTFRB-10 has so far impounded 50 PUVs, most of them “colorum” taxis, in the last few months.
Guro said LTRB-10 only has 15 regular employees and 10 job-order workers dealing with thousands of operators from all over Northern Mindanao.
“The number of franchisees has increased, but the employees have not. Our workload in the office is already heavy, that’s why we don’t conduct anti-colorum operation as often as we want to,” Guro added.
He made an official appearance at the city council Monday afternoon to answer queries by the city’s legislature on the “colorum” taxi issue.
An augmentation composed of RTA enforcers, Land Transportation Office personnel, and police officers would be enough for them to conduct apprehensions regularly, Guro said.
“Due to our limited manpower, we cannot do this on our own. We need any help that we can get,” he said.
Guro added that he will also organize and inter-agency group, made of up other government agencies, that will help LTFRB in their anti-colorum operations.
“We are going to create a joint task force to show that we are serious in our campaign against illegal taxi operators and drivers,” Guro said.
Guro noted that one of the factors why there is an increase in illegal taxis operating in the city is due to duplication of body numbers being used by legitimate operators.
For instance, he said, an owner of five registered taxi units will use the body numbers of those in his other taxis to avoid paying for the necessary fees, franchise, and insurance.
There were also reports that many operators of colorum taxis were displaced Marawi siege survivors who received help from their relatives living here so they could get back on their feet.
Although he understands the hardship the Marawi residents go through, Guro said driving or operating taxis without franchise is not an excuse.
“My advice to them is to register with a cooperative or a corporation or form one to make their operation legal,” he added.(davaotoday.com)