Lawmaker wants stiffer penalties for colorum PUVs

MANILA, Philippines – In light of the surge of passengers going home to their provinces for All Saints' Day, Congress is pushing for stricter apprehension of out-of-line public utility vehicles (PUV), more commonly referred as "colorum." 

Citing "colorum" vehicles as "patent causes" of accidents and worsening traffic, Angkla Partylist Representative Jesulito Manalo filed House Bill 4076 before the Committee on Transportation.

The bill entitled, "An Act penalizing persons found to be operating or owning motor vehicles identified as colorum, and for other purposes," aims to impose stricter penalties on unregistered PUVs.

Under the proposed law, operators of unregistered PUVs shall be imprisoned or be penalized depending on the type of vehicle driven:

All of their permits and franchises, including those for the legally-registered units, shall be revoked. They will also be permanently disqualified from engaging in transport-related businesses. 

The license of the driver of an apprehended "colorum" vehicle will also be confiscated for the first offense and revoked for the second.

Meanwhile, owners of private vehicles who use their units as "colorum" PUVs will also be "perpetually disqualified from applying for and operating any kind of public land transportation." 

Out on 'Undas'

Earlier on Friday, the Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Regional Office in Bicol apprehended a Super 5 bus en route to Davao from Pasay due to lack of registration papers. The bus, carrying 40 people, was impounded at the Land Transportation Office Region 5.

LTFRB Region V just apprehended Super 5 bus bound for Davao from Pasay w/ 40 pax on board for colurom violation. Bus impounded at LTO R5. — LTFRB_CHAIRMAN (@LTFRB_Chairman) October 30, 2015

Another Super 5 bus was also caught travelling without franchise papers and bearing an improvised plate earlier in the week. 

The LTFRB has been warning the public to be careful of unregistered buses. 

Several bus operators abuse the high demand for land transportation during "All Saints' Day", when many Metro Manila dwellers travel to provinces to visit their loved ones' graves.

Passengers of colorum vehicles may risk being denied their insurance claims, should an accident happen.

LTFRB's strengthened campaign   

Since last year, LTFRB has strengthened its inspection operations to discourage "colorum" buses. 

LTFRB flagged down two units of Dalin Liner, imposing a P1-million penalty against the operator. 

Dalin Liner was apprehended on October 20, 2015 for using expired Certificates of Public Convenience (CPC) and illegally switching license plates, while a driver of another unit failed to present a permit to operate when apprehended in July 9 last year.

Aside from buses, LTFRB also required private vehicles using ride-hailing applications such as Uber and GrabCar to register with the agency. (READ: LTFRB to start unregistered Uber, GrabCar clampdown- Rappler.com