June 25, 2024

The Insider News

Direct from the source

LTO to implement ‘No Release’ policy vs vehicles impounded in anti-colorum operations

THE Land Transportation Office (LTO) has added more teeth in the nationwide anti-colorum campaign by ensuring that impounded vehicles as a result of law enforcement operations will not be released despite payment of fines by the registered owner.

The only way that the impounded colorum vehicles would be released is through a court order, according to LTO Chief, Assistant Secretary Atty. Vigor D. Mendoza II.

“Masyado nang matagal at malalim ang problema sa iligal na operasyon ng colorum vehicles sa ating bansa. Kailangan na nating magpatupad ng mas mabigat na kaparusahan tungkol dito upang maipakita sa mga taong patuloy na nilalabag ang batas na seryoso ang ating pamahalaan upang tapusin ang modus nila,” said Assec Mendoza. 

Transport groups have been complaining that they are losing 30% of their income daily due to the operation of colorum vehicles.  

A colorum is a private vehicle that is acting like a public utility vehicle (PUV), usually for the purpose of earning money, without complying with legal requirements. The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) is in charge of the permits for motor vehicles that would be used as PUVs. 

While colorum vehicles are usually found in remote areas and the provinces, reports revealed that the number of colorum vehicles in Metro Manila and nearby areas have increased in the past.  

“Simple lang po ito: May mga regulasyon patungkol sa operation ng public utility vehicles. Kung hindi po ito sinunod, maliwanag na iligal po ang operasyon nito and this is equivalent to committing a crime. Kaya may karampatang parusa at multa dito,” said Assec Mendoza. 

‘At kasama sa parusa dito ay ang pagpapatupad natin ng no release policy for all vehicles that would be impounded in anti-colorum operations,” he added. 

In a memorandum issued to all Regional Directors, District Office heads and chiefs of LTO units, Assec Mendoza explained that criminal cases must be immediately filed in every successful anti-colorum operation.  

“This is the responsibility of the apprehending officers, heads of LES/RLES (Law Enforcement Service/Regional Law Enforcement Service), and heads of office. Failure to do so shall be subject to administrative liability,” said Assec Mendoza. 

“Pending the criminal case, the unit should not be released without a court order as the vehicle is part of the evidence of the crime. Releasing the vehicle is tantamount to Infidelity in the Custody of Evidence,” he added.  

Since he assumed the top LTO post in July last year and with the assistance of transport groups , Assec Mendoza launched aggressive anti-colorum operations nationwide which resulted in the arrest of hundreds of operators and drivers and impoundment of vehicles. 

Department of Transportation Secretary Jaime J. Bautista has also directed the LTO to intensify the operation against colorum vehicles based on the complaints and request for assistance by transport groups. 

In February this year, the LTO filed cases of violation of Section 18 in relation to Section 24 of the Commonwealth Act 146 as amended by Republic Act 11659 or the Public Service Act against van owner Roberto Salvador and van driver Rocky Cos.  

The Parañaque City Prosecutors Office found sufficient grounds to charge them based on the operation wherein it was established that Cos was asking P120 per passenger from Parañaque to Trece Martires City, and vice versa.