GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/10 February) – The city government is set to launch next week a massive crackdown against unregistered or “colorum” public utility vehicles (PUVs) as it vowed to strengthen the implementation of public transportation and traffic regulations in the area.
Glenvil Gonzales, assistant city administrator, said Friday they will deploy enforcement teams starting Feb. 16 in various key points of the city to properly monitor the movements of private or “green-plated” vehicles that have been plying the regular PUV routes.
He said the crackdown will focus on the “colorum” tricycles, jeepneys, multicabs, passenger vans and even single motorcycles, which are locally known as “habal-habal.”
City officials earlier estimated that around 8,000 tricycles have been operating on a daily basis in various routes in the area.
But this figure was twice the actual number of tricycle franchises that have been issued by the city’s Motorized Transport Franchising and Regulatory Board.
“We already received numerous complaints about the proliferation of these colorum PUVs, which were giving undue competition to the legitimate operators and drivers,” he said.
Gonzales said they decided to launch the crackdown to protect local commuters as well as the legitimate PUV operators and drivers.
He said the colorum PUVs are not covered by insurance and their passengers face the risk of not getting any compensation or financial help in case of accidents.
The official said they have tapped the city’s traffic control division personnel to spearhead the crackdown, which will be launched in coordination with the city district office of the Land Transportation Office (LTO).
Aside from running after the colorum vehicles, he said the enforcement teams will also implement the “no helmet, no travel policy” and other traffic regulations.
He said they will check private motorcycles for possible violations such as the improper placement of license plates, expired registrations and use of non-standard exhaust pipes.
Gonzales acknowledged that the upcoming campaign might affect the livelihood of some drivers and operators but he stressed that the local government was mandated by law to properly implement the
government’s traffic and public transport regulations and policies.
“We can’t simply tolerate the operations of these colorum vehicles at the expense of the legitimate ones who have properly applied for franchises or permits and paid their due taxes to the city government,” he added. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)