The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) issued on Wednesday a stern warning against public utility vehicles (PUVs), reminding them that they face heavy fines and penalties for overloading and overcharging during the Holy Week break.
According to LTFRB Chairman Teofilo Guadiz III, passengers should be wary of transport companies, or even private vehicles that may operate as “for hire” vehicles, who might take advantage of the busy season.
He said the practice of overloading endangers the lives of all those on board, the driver and conductor and more importantly, the passengers.
Likewise, Guadiz said the LTFRB would run after entities that are found to have been overcharging their passengers as well as illegal for-hire-private-vehicles—colloquially called “colorum.”
Aside from private vehicles, the law defines “colorum” vehicles as PUVs that operate outside of their approved route, those that operate differently from its authorized denomination, like a tourist bus operating as a PUB, or a PUV with a suspended, canceled, or expired Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC).
For those found to be overloading, a fine of P5,000 is handed out on the PUV operator for the first offense, P10,000 plus impoundment of the unit for 30 days for the second offense, while the third offense metes a P15,000 fine plus cancellation of the CPC.
For PUVs found to be overcharging or even undercharging of fares, a fine of P5,000 for the first offense is imposed, P10,000 fine and impounding of the unit for 30 days for the second offense, and a fine of P15,000 and cancellation of CPC for the third offense.
“Colorum” vehicles, on the other hand, whether bus, truck, jeepney, van, sedan or motorcycle, a fine of P1 million, P200,000, P50,000, P200,000, P120,000, and P6,000, respectively, will be imposed, plus impounding of the vehicle for three months, for the first offense. This includes revocation of the CPC and blacklisting of the apprehended vehicle, and revocation of the registration of the apprehended vehicle.
For the second offense, revocation of all CPCs or the entire fleet of the operator, disqualification of the operator, and stockholders and directors if the operator is a corporation, from operating any kind of public land transportation, plus blacklisting and revocation of registration of all authorized units of the operator, await those who will violate.
“Let us take this opportunity to go home and reflect and assess ourselves physically, emotionally and spiritually. However, we also encourage our dear passengers to remain vigilant and observant of certain situations that they think may violate their rights as passengers. This is ensure that they will travel safe and right and arrive at their destinations safe and sound,” Guadiz said.
Image credits: Nonoy Lacza