By JIGGER J. JERUSALEM and
THE Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) yesterday started a three-day inspection of taxis ahead of the creation of a task force that would crack down on vehicles being illegally used for public land transport in the city.
A LTFRB team would inspect the taxis here until tomorrow to make an inventory of franchises.
At an empty lot in the city’s uptown area near SM City, taxis lined up to be checked by LTFRB personnel who started the “tagging operation” at around 10 am.
“We are doing a countercheck to determine if the body numbers we gave the taxis are still being used,” said Aminoden Guro, LTFRB director for northern Mindanao.
Guro said if the LTFRB finds out that some body numbers, issued in 2016, are no longer being used, these would be assigned to new franchisees.
The body numbers, beginning with “RX” followed by a series of numbers and painted on the side of taxis, serve as indicators that the public vehicles are registered with the LTFRB.
Guro said the target is to inspect about a thousand taxis daily until tomorrow.
After the inspections, Guro said, the LTFRB would then mobilize an inter-agency task force to clamp down on illegal taxis.
Guro said no apprehensions would be made during the three-day “tagging operation,” adding that the LTFRB’s intention is merely just to check franchise papers, taximeters, and ensure that the vehicles have the LTFRB’s “green stickers.”
“Paghuman sa among tagging operation, unya na-ay mga taxi nga namasada nga walay franchise, dakop na dayon,” Guro said.
Guro said the LTFRB hopes to rid the city of illegal taxis by next year through the task force.
“We hope that by 2020, Cagayan de Oro will be free of ‘colorum’ taxis,” Guro said.
The task force would be composed of the LTFRB, Land Transportation Office, the National Police’s Highway Patrol Group, Cagayan de Oro City Police Office, and city hall’s Roads and Traffic Administration.
On Monday, Guro told the city council the Guro said the LTFRB hopes to rid the city of illegal taxis by next year through the task force.
“We hope that by 2020, Cagayan de Oro will be free of ‘colorum’ taxis,” Guro said. needs at least 10 RTA enforcers to help the task force in its anti-illegal operation.
The task force, he said, is expected to start working within the month.
Also, Guro said, many taxi owners have signified their intent to register their vehicles with the LTFRB. Some, he said, are affiliating with three corporations and a cooperative so their taxis can legally operate.
In compliance with the Omnibus Franchising Guidelines of the Department of Transportation, the LTFRB regional office required taxi operators to form corporations or cooperatives that would then be granted franchises.
In the meantime, Guro appealed to commuters to patronize only taxis that have franchise.
“Please don’t ride ‘colorum’ taxis. In case of an accident, it will be unfortunate if passengers and their beneficiaries would not be able to avail of insurance benefits because the taxis they hailed are illegally operating,” he said.
Meanwhile, Allan Gamba of the Metro CDO Taxi Federation opined that city hall should spearhead the campaign against illegal taxis given that these vehicles are being operated in the city.
Gamba said the only way to rid the city’s roads of taxis with no franchises is to apprehend their drivers and make their owners answerable. He said there should be a relentless city hall-led campaign with the help of government the LTFRB, LTO and other government agencies.