BAGUIO CITY – Some thirty one alleged colorum vans were apprehended and impounded by the personnel of the Cordillera office of the Land Transportation Office (LTO-CAR) for violation of the guidelines of the community quarantine, particularly the suspension of mass public transportation.
LTO-CAR regional director Francis Ray Almora said that some of the van owners were able to pay the P200,000 fine imposed for their unauthorized travels inside and outside the Cordillera while most of them are still undergoing the process for the imposition of the prescribed fine for their committed violation.
Based on the data obtained from the LTO-CAR, there were 12 colorum vans that were apprehended and impounded in March, 9 in May, 5 in June and 3 in the first week of July.
However, he claimed that the agency is still consolidating its figures for the appended and impounded colorum vehicles in April at the height of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) because the same had been mixed up, thus, no data has been made available for violators on the said month.
The LTO-CAR official explained that when President Rodrigo Duterte declared the Luzonwide lockdown, mass public transportation was suspended that translated to the outright suspension of the certificates of public convenience (CPCs) that were issued to public utility vehicles as one of the measures to restrict the movement of people.
According to him, the common violations that were committed by the apprehended and impounded vans include the absence of travel authority of the occupants and that the same had been reportedly used to illegally transport locally stranded individuals to their desired places of destination in the different areas inside and outside the region.
Director Almora stated that the LTO personnel will remain aggressive in the implementation of community quarantine rules, especially that the operation of mass public transportation is still regulated because of the strict enforcement of health and safety protocols, to help in reducing the rapid spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) among commuters and motorists.
He disclosed that LTO personnel will be conducting surprise operations along major roads to check the compliance of the permitted jeepneys and taxis on the health and safety protocols, particularly the limited occupancy, the presence of barriers, the availability of alcohol and sanitizers, the wearing of face masks by the drivers and passengers among others to ensure optimum compliance to such regulations.
Almora appealed to the motorists for their utmost understanding when they encounter delays in their travel inside and outside the region because of the ongoing operations of the LTO personnel because the agency want to ensure that public utility vehicles that are plying their routes have been issued the required permits from the Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) pursuant to recent issuances by concerned government agencies.
Almora asserted that the agency’s anti-colorum campaign will be heightened during the prevailing community quarantine to prevent unscrupulous individuals from taking advantage of the pandemic situation to take advantage of the situation in pursuing their illegal operations.
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