THE Task Force Kontra Colorum Tricycle temporarily stopped its operation due to lack of cooperation from the Bacolod Traffic Authority Office (BTAO), an official of the city said Monday, March 6.

Councilor Al Victor Espino, chairperson of the City Council committee on transportation and chairman of the task force, said they stopped their operation because there was an incident in which the members of the task force confiscated the driver’s license of the driver.

"I already instructed them not to confiscate the driver’s license in the meantime because we don’t have a basis for the confiscation. We should have a legal footing," he said.

He added that he had already informed Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez regarding the issue.

Espino noted that when he confronted the BTAO about the incident the following day, they stopped their operation.

"Yes, we have an ordinance that says we can arrest and confiscate licenses, but then again, we don’t have a legal challenge about this yet," Espino said.

He said the city mayor already asked for a legal opinion, and they were only waiting for the result of it.

"We are willing to operate, but the BTAO will not join us," he added.

Espino noted that since last week, the task force has already impounded at least 600 colorum tricycles.

The task force was tasked with apprehending the tricycle operators and drivers associations (Todas) that operate without a franchise from the city government.

Under City Ordinance (CO) No. 650, Bacolod City has issued a total of 7,000 franchises to various tricycle associations, adding that at least 15,000 Todas are operating in the city.

The task force was headed by Espino as chairperson, with its members being the BTAO, Traffic Enforcement Unit (TEU), City Engineer’s Office (CEO), Business Permits and License Office (BPLO), and representatives of the tricycle associations.

For his part, Major Junjie Liba, head of BTAO, said they failed to join the operation of the task force because they also have other functions and have limited-service vehicles.

"We have an operation everyday, not only for the colorum tricycle, but also for other traffic violations," he said.

He added that they have a basis for the confiscation of the driver’s license based on City Ordinance 790.

Liba disclosed that they haven’t been informed yet when to resume their operation against colorum tricycle.*