MANILA The Department of Transportation (DOTr) launched on Wednesday an inter-agency task force that will implement intensified operations against 'colorum' public utility vehicles (PUVs) in compliance with the directive of President Rodrigo R. Duterte to crackdown on unregistered PUVs nationwide.
Dubbed Task Force Kamao, the new task group will be led by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) which has jurisdiction over the franchises of PUVs.
Other agencies in the task group include the Land Transportation Office, Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority.
DOTr Undersecretary for Road Transport Tim Orbos said that suppressing the proliferation of 'colorum' PUVs in the country needs a collective effort among various agencies of the government.
Malalim ang problema ng colorum. Kailangan magsama-sama tayo sa paglutas nito (The problem of colorum vehicles is so deep-seated. We need a united effort in order to address this), Orbos told a press conference at the LTFRB office in Quezon City.
He noted that this is the first time that an inter-agency effort was put together to fight 'colorums' on a nationwide scale.
Anti-colorum operations are set to be conducted in Metro Manila and the provinces after Holy Week.
The Inter-Agency Council on Traffic (I-ACT), which has been apprehending 'colorums' since August 2016, will be leading operations in Metro Manila while the local government units will implement their respective plans of actions in coordination with TF Kamao.
For his part, LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra III stressed the importance of intelligence gathering in identifying persons and organizations behind the 'colorum' operations.
This as the task force has sought the assistance of the Department of National Defense, National Telecommunications Commission, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Department of Justice and the Department of Interior and Local Government for intelligence gathering.
What is new here is the information gathering aspect of this inter-agency task force. By which we will be able to gather information about colorum in order that we can use effectively our limited resources with a maximum impact against colorum activities. The intelligence community of government will be tapped to help identify colorum operations, Delgra said.
The public is also encouraged to report 'colorum' vehicles on the I-ACT Facebook page through the Sumbong Bulok, Sumbong Usok online platform.
The LTFRB is currently conducting an inventory of buses nationwide to protect those with franchises and ensure that routes are being served.
To date, I-ACT has already apprehended more than 450 "colorum" vehicles this year.
Source: Philippine News Agency