By Raymond Carl Dela Cruz

LTO chief Assistant Secretary Vigor Mendoza II. (PNA file photo)

MANILA – The Land Transportation Office (LTO) on Thursday ordered a nationwide crackdown against “colorum” or illegally operating public utility vehicles (PUVs).

In a statement, LTO chief Assistant Secretary Vigor Mendoza II said the order was made to all LTO regional directors following a meeting with Department of Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista.

“This has long been a problem that requires attention and sustained operations to ensure that only those granted with permits could operate,” Mendoza said.

He said the lives and safety of commuters and motorists alike rest on the proper enforcement of such policies as colorum PUVs have not gone through road worthiness tests nor are they compliant with government regulations.

“I am directing regional and district offices of the LTO to heighten measures and operations against these out-of-line public utility vehicles. Dapat masuyod at tuluyang masawata ang operasyon ng mga colorum na ito sa inyong mga lugar na nasasakupan (You should weed out and stop the operation of colorum vehicles in your respective jurisdictions),” he added.

In addition to safety considerations, Mendoza said colorum PUVs also affect the income of legitimate PUV drivers and operators.

Anti-colorum operations will cover bus terminals across the country as well as school service vehicles.

The LTO will partner with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), and the Philippine National Police–High Patrol Group and territorial forces in these operations.

“Hindi basta basta ang kalaban na ating susugpuin dahil sanga-sanga na ang kanilang operasyon kaya’t kailangan na natin ng tulong ng ibang ahensya (These are not small enemies to suppress because they have branching operations, that’s why we need the help of other agencies),” he said. (PNA)