In defense of colorum ops: Commuters cite change in routes, franchise system

March 31, 2022 - 12:27 PM
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Vehicles crawl through traffic along EDSA in Makati on July 14, 2021. (The STAR/Walter Bollozos)

A transport agency’s advisory against colorum operation and “out-of-line” vehicles received complaints from commuters for its new routes and franchise requirements.

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority on March 29 issued an announcement about its anti-colorum operations in Metro Manila.

From March 25 to 28 of their operations, MMDA personnel had ticketed 135 traffic violators and impounded 54 more vehicles.

“Tuloy-tuloy ang operasyon ng MMDA Task Force Special Operations laban sa mga lumalabag sa batas trapiko at Anti-Colorum Unit na kontra naman sa out-of-line at hindi rehistradong mga sasakyang dumadaan sa mga pangunahing kalsada sa Metro Manila,” MMDA said.

The agency also shared a definition of a colorum vehicle, citing the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board.

“Ayon sa LTFRB, ang colorum ay mga sasakyang nagsasakay ng pasahero o cargo na ginagamit ng mga ilegal na operator upang pagkakitaan kahit walang certificate of public convenience (prangkisa) / Provisional Authority / Special Permit,” MMDA said.

“Dagdag pa rito, walang ‘passenger insurance’ ang colorum na sasakyan, kung kaya’t walang makukuhang agarang tulong pinansyal mula sa operator o anumang insurance company ang pasahero kung sakali mang maaksidente ang kanyang sinasakyan,” it added.

In its publication material, MMDA discouraged the public from supporting these illegal and out-of-line jeeps and buses.

Some commuters, however, told off the agency about its new route system that forced them to patronize colorum units instead.

“Di raw sasakay sa out of line e halos lahat ngayon out of line lalo na mga bus na mga legal na may prangkisa dahil binago ng LTFRB ang mga ruta ng mga PUB and PUV,” one Facebook user said.

“Nawala na ang dating ruta, grabeng mahal ng pamasahe,” another Facebook user commented.

“Buti nga po may colorum. San kami sasakay kung walang colorum? just saying. Isyuhan na po kasi ng prangkisa,” another user pointed out.

Others criticized the MMDA for targeting colorum operations when the drivers themselves don’t have much choice but to operate illegally.

“Dapat kasi may plano ano pwede gawin sa mga colurum, bakit sila colorum, ano ba pwede gawin paraan matulungan sila di ba? Ewan ko sa inyo MMDA… Kaya minsan ang tao walang choice… Hindi patas,” one user said.

The government’s anti-colorum campaign has been running in the country even before the coronavirus pandemic.

These activities have intensified during the implementation of the tough lockdowns in March 2020 despite the halt of mass transport.

In 2021, some transport groups called for a temporary suspension of these operations.

This month, the MMDA announced that pre-pandemic routes will be reopened in the region and in 38 other areas that are placed under COVID-19 Alert Level 1, the most relaxed alert level status.

As of writing, Metro Manila and 47 other areas are still under Alert Level 1 until March 31.