TAGBILARAN CITY – There are more unregistered or “colorum” vehicles for hire plying in different routes in Bohol than in Negros Oriental, Roland Ramos, head of operations of Land Transportation Office (LTO), said. He bared that Negros Oriental’s passenger vehicles are only about a third of Bohol’s total without franchises. He did not give figures, however.
But despite this situation, the operations team under him was unable to apprehend a single violation in the last three days last week of what he called “saturation” drive, Ramos told DyTR radio program last week. The situation (without a single apprehension) is somewhat he described as “respect” each other. The colorums showed respect to the LTO officers, he said. “Manago na lang” (They’re just hiding), he said.
He warned those passenger and private vehicles running without papers or registration and licenses for they won’t think twice but apprehend them for they’re just implementing the mandate of the agency. Under Joint Administrative Order No 1 by LTO and other agencies, the smallest fine for violations, such as driving LTO-issued current registration, is Php1,000 for motorcycles. For bus, Php1 million; vans, Php200,000; jeepneys, Php150,000; and automobile, Php100,000 plus accessory fines.
A concerned passenger said that he always fails to to go home in Hanopol, Balilihan town on weekends since no single passenger bus or jeepney plying here everytime the LTO conducts anti-colourm drive.
Majority of the passenger bus or jeepneys plying in Tagbilaran-Balilihan-Hanopol route are colorums, he said. Some of these are allegedly owned by a family of top town official. But lately, he said, some units are sold to other owners.
As to the allegation that the Southern Star bus company that replaced the former St. Jude Trans. has no franchises of some of its bus fleet, Ramos said that about 90% of the company’s fleet are already franchise holders.
Ramos vehemently denied that “colorums” are the milking cow by LTO enforcers. He said LTO does not tolerate extortion. He urged the riding public to report to LTO any extort try by any of the LTO enforcers because it will not hesitate to sanction any wrongdoings.
But he jokingly cited a story he learned of what appeared to be an extort try. He said that when an apprehending officer asked for a license and then the violator give him his license but only a student permit it would cost the latter Php100; But when it’s a non-professional license, Php500 and if it’s professional, Php1,000. Though he did not admit it’s happening with LTO men since it’s only a story. (rvo)