BAGUIO CITY – The city council has approved on final reading an ordinance prohibiting colorum vehicles from plying the city’s roads and giving local policemen the power to apprehend them.
Ordinance No. 55 series of 2017 or the Anti-Colorum Ordinance of the City of Baguio also provides a reward system for persons who can give information that will lead to the identification and apprehension of these colorum vehicles.
Councilors Benny Bomogao, Faustino Olowan and Michael Lawana who authored the measure said the city needs to “heighten laws against colorum motor vehicles plying their trade or business within the city… to uphold the primordial interest of the riding public for a safe and healthy transportation which shall not be compromised by the proliferation of motor vehicles commonly known as ‘colorum’.”
“The existence of motor vehicles used for public conveyance locally called “colorum” is causing prejudice to the economic benefits of the legitimate operators of duly registered public utility vehicles. These motor vehicles also contribute to the traffic congestion of the city,” the measure notes.
“The safety of the riding public is of paramount interest of the City Government of Baguio and colorum vehicles often elude safety inspections and compliance on transportation regulations and traffic ordinances. When accidents happen the passengers of these colorum vehicles are uninsured unlike legitimate public utility vehicles who are issued with Certificate of Public Conveyance.”
The proponents said that under the Joint Administrative Order No. 2014-001 of the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) [Revised Schedule of Fines and Penalties for Violations of Laws, Rules and Regulations Governing Land Transportation, only personnel of the three agencies can apprehend colorum vehicles thus the Baguio City Police Office does not have jurisdiction over the implementation of anti-colorum laws.
In the ordinance, colorum is defined as private motor vehicles operating as public utility vehicles but without proper authority from the LTFRB; PUV with expired CPC; PUVs with CPC but the approved route does not include Baguio City; motor vehicles posing as PUV but without a duly issued CPC by the LTFRB; a PUV operating differently from its authorized franchise like a school service but operating as Utility Vehicle (UV) Express; and other vehicles defined by law or regulations as colorums.
Vehicles covered by the ordinance include buses, jitneys, taxi, UV Express, school service, and private vehicles.
As decreed, colorum vehicles will “not be allowed to traverse, park or use any roads, maintain loading and unloading terminals whether in public or private properties and/or convey passengers within the City of Baguio” with the BCPO as the primary enforcer of the ordinance.
Apprehending officers will confiscate the driver’s license of the driver and one plate number of the vehicle.
Failure of the driver or owner of the vehicle to show the Certificate of Registration or Certificate of Public Conveyance is prima facie evidence of being a colorum vehicle.
The ordinance mandates the BCPO to submit a quarterly report to the City Mayor, the Traffic and Transportation Management Committee and city council on the operations conducted for the enforcement of this ordinance.
The City Mayor was given a hand to create a task force to enforce this ordinance to include deputizing the barangay officials, barangay tanods and other personnel.
Violators will be fined P5,000 plus impounding fees ranging from P5,000 to P15,000. On the third offense, they will charged in court.
“In determining the frequency of offenses, the count shall be against the operator/owner and not against a particular vehicle. Thus, the apprehension of a vehicle belonging to the same operator or owner shall be counted as second offense,” the measure notes.
A reward will be provided to informants whose identities will be kept secret as decreed. /Aileen P. Refuerzo