By Raymond Carl Dela Cruz

LTO Chief, Assistant Secretary Vigor Mendoza II. (Photo courtesy of LTO)

MANILA – The Land Transportation Office (LTO) is seeking the help of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to intensify its campaign against ‘colorum’ or unregistered public utility vehicles (PUV) nationwide.

In a statement on Friday, LTO Chief Assistant Secretary Vigor Mendoza II said the PNP Highway Patrol Group (HPG) and other units of the police force would be essential in providing manpower during these operations.

He noted that transport groups have complained of losing 30 percent of their income to colorum PUVs.

“Matagal na itong reklamong ito ng ating mga kapatid sa transport sector kaya tayo ay hihingi ng tulong sa ating PNP upang madagdagan ang ating puwersa para matigil na ang iligal na operasyon ng mga taong nasa likod nito (This is a long-standing complaint of those in the transport sector, that’s why we’re seeking the help of the PNP to boost our ranks to stop the illegal operation of those behind this),” Mendoza said.

He also initiated dialogues with transport groups that committed to deploying volunteers as mystery drivers of colorum PUVs to ensure that their crackdown does not result in extortion activities.

This resulted in six LTO enforcers getting sacked and being investigated for extortion activities.

“Habang magiging agresibo ang kampanya natin sa mga colorum na pampublikong sasakyan, titiyakin din natin that this being enforced properly and with integrity on the ground (While our campaign against colorum PUVs remain aggressive, we will also ensure that it is being enforced properly and with integrity),” he said.

Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista recognized the successful anti-colorum operations of the LTO, particularly in Metro Manila and nearby areas.

These operations, Bautista said, are necessary to assist transport groups in recovering their losses from colorum PUVs. (PNA)