Palace: Operators of colorum vehicles deserve higher penalties

A policeman searches for personal belongings of passengers after a bus fell off an elevated expressway and crashed into a van below in Taguig city, south of Manila December 16, 2013. At least 21 people were killed during the incident, according to the police.  (MNS photo)

A policeman searches for personal belongings of passengers after a bus fell off an elevated expressway and crashed into a van below in Taguig city, south of Manila December 16, 2013. At least 21 people were killed during the incident, according to the police. (MNS photo)

MANILA, June 19 (Mabuhay) — Malacañang on Thursday defended the implementation of higher penalties for operators of colorum vehicles, saying violators of the law should be punished.

“Ang colorum ay iligal, labag sa batas. Pagpapatupad ng batas ang pangunahing layunin [ng ginagawa ng pamahalaan],” Presidential Communications Operations Office head Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a text message to reporters.

He issued the statement after transport groups accused the government of approving the higher penalties to generate more revenue.

On Thursday morning, they even staged a protest which left more than 1,000 commuters stranded.

Coloma, however, stood by the new regulation. “Sa ganyang paraan mapapangalagaan ang kaligtasan at kapakanan ng mga mamamayan,” he said.

The Department of Transportation and Communications earlier said it is cracking down on colorum operators by imposing heftier fines starting June 19, Thursday.

It said fines for first-time offenders include:

Buses: P1 million
Trucks: P200,000
Jeepneys: P50,000
Vans: P200,000
Sedans: P120,000
Motorcycles: P6,000

Also, the colorum vehicles will be impounded for at least three months while the entire franchise to which the colorum vehicle belongs will be revoked.

The colorums will also be blacklisted from being used as PUVs in the future.

For second offenses, the entire fleet or all certificates of public convenience of the operator will be revoked, the vehicles will be blacklisted from being used as PUVs in the future, and their vehicle registrations will also be revoked.

Also, the violating operator will be disqualified from operating any kind of public land transportation. (MNS)

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