By JIGGER J. JERUSALEM
HERE’S one effect of the 2017 Marawi siege on Cagayan de Oro: an increase in the number of vehicles used for illegal public land transport.
The director of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) in Region 10, Aminoden Guro, said many of the so-called “colorum” taxis in the city today belong to Marawi siege survivors.
According to the LTFRB, there are about 2,770 taxis and some 300 taxis operating without franchises in the city.
“Our initial investigation revealed that some of these ‘colorum’ taxis were being operated by hapless victims in the Marawi siege who were forced to find sanctuary and make a livelihood in the city. Some of them have confessed that they couldn’t find any good source of livelihood except by offering taxi services to commuters in the city,” Guro was quoted as saying in a city council news dispatch.
Guro said many of the Marawi siege survivors received help from their relatives living here and they used the aid to acquire vehicles for public transportation so they could get back on their feet.
He said that although he understands the hardships the displaced Maranaos, Guro said their plight cannot be used as an excuse for operating taxis without franchises.
“My advice to them is to register with a cooperative or a corporation or form one to make their operation legal,” he said.
Some of the displaced Maranaos availed of the low-downpayment promo of car dealers to acquire brand new sedans but the problem was, they could no longer be granted franchises by the LTFRB because of a moratorium.
Guro said the central office of the LTFRB issued Memorandum Circular 2019-014 on March 15, 2019, that allows applicants to secure franchises provided that each of them has at least 10 taxi units. Based on this, he said, 250 new taxis can operate under new franchises throughout Region 10.