DOTC chief wants P1-M fine for colorum operators
MANILA, Philippines - Transportation secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said that if it were up to him, he would impose a P1-million fine against owners of "colorum" public utility vehicles.
In a speech during the Makati Business Club (MBC) general membership meeting on Thursday, April 25, Abaya said that imposing a steep fine would strengthen the government's anti-colorum campaign. He added that the current fine on colorum operators for buses and jeepneys, which comes to P10,000, is not strong enough to deter violators.
“Fees for violating franchise laws should not be affordable and should be a deterrent. If I were to be asked, I would impose a fine of P1 million so it will be a deterrent,” Abaya said.
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board's (LTFRB) intensified anti-colorum campaign has been ineffective in preventing provincial buses from taking city routes and private vehicles operating public utility vehicles.
The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) earlier said that 4,600 of the 10,000 buses that go through EDSA every day are of the colorum variety. According to data from Philippine Global Road Safety Program, there are about 1 million colorum vehicles nationwide.
Abaya also said that the DOTC and the LTFRB are looking to bid out public utility vehicle franchises to intensify its campaign against owners of colorum buses, jeepneys, vans, FX, and taxis.
“Let us look at certain routes to make it more efficient to operators and drivers so we can address the traffic as well as fly by night operators,” he said.
Abaya added that a franchise system for public utility vehicles is already in place in other countries. “This has been done in other countries and this has been effective. Big players are receptive to this idea of bidding but individual driver operators are against this,” he said.
Abaya urged individual operators of public utility vehicles to form groups for bidding for franchises.
The DOTC has asked information technology companies for the best method for preventing buses from taking illegal routes. Previous proposals have included GPS and RFID.
“We expect that the removal of provincial buses from EDSA, coupled with our anti-colorum initiative and the construction of the NLEX-SLEX connector roads, will improve the traffic condition significantly,” Abaya said.
The government is currently looking at introducing alternate routes to EDSA. One of the proposals authorities are looking at is an elevated highway that connects the North and South Luzon expressways.
Abaya added that his agency is looking at constructing integrated transport system terminals that would prohibit provincial buses from entering EDSA and Metro Manila. - Rappler.com