THE top official of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) in Northern Mindanao said some families displaced in the Marawi siege contribute to the rising number of colorum taxi units in Cagayan de Oro City.
LTFRB-Northern Mindanao Aminoden Guro said based on its initial investigation, these displaced families sought sanctuary in the city and made livelihood by operating colorum taxi.
Speaking before the city council plenary session on Monday, November 18, Guro said some drivers apprehended confessed to him that operating taxi units illegally is their main source of income to survive after losing their homes and livelihood in Marawi City.
At present, there are 2,770 taxi units operating legally in the city, but around 10 percent of this number is colorum.
An average of two to five colorum taxi units are caught and impounded every day. Guro said some 50 colorum taxi units are currently impounded at the LTFRB-Northern Mindanao office.
Councilor Jocelyn Rodriguez, for her part, said while Marawi siege survivors are welcome in the city, “the law shouldn’t be bent for some people”.
“The law is the law and we have to implement it,” Rodriguez said.
Guro assured councilors that its office is working hard to combat the rise of colorum vehicles. One of its strategies is legalizing them and urging them to join cooperatives to apply for a franchise.
Guro is also requesting 10 personnel from the Roads and Traffic Administration (RTA) to help crackdown these illegal units, to address one of the challenges in this campaign -- lack of manpower.
He said the LTFRB-Northern Mindanao only has 15 regular employees and 10 job order workers, not enough to enforce road rules.
“Rest assured, we regularly conduct anti-colorum operations to lessen and eradicate this problem,” Guro added.