METRO Manila mayors are set to fully implement an order by Malacanang to rid the streets of colorum or illegal public utility and private vehicles as a means to address traffic congestions in major thoroughfares in the country’s premier region.
According to Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., the members of the Metro Manila Council composed of local chief executives will sit down to discuss how local governments can help in solving the worsening traffic problem in the region.
“They [local executives]can be of great help in resolving the problem since there is a need for convergence, a coordinated move by the national government and local governments,” Coloma said over the weekend.
He reminded operators of public utility vehicles (PUVs) and even privately-owned trucks for hire that they have only until August 15 to secure provisional authority to travel from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
“This will be discussed [by the mayors]. All agencies of government, national and local, are ready to cooperate for the welfare of our citizens,” the Palace official said.
Coloma said backlog of shipments at the Port of Manila that usually cause heavy traffic in the area is being addressed by authorities.
Last week, Malacanang ordered the impoundment of all illegal vehicles in Metro Manila to end a bitter row between the LTFRB and the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA).
“Upon the directive of President Aquino, members of the Cabinet and the concerned agencies discussed solutions to remedy the worsening traffic jams in Metro Manila and to reduce congestion in the Port of Manila,” Coloma announced.
The directive called for apprehension and charging of fines on colorum vehicles and buses that are “out of line” or traveling beyond what their franchise allows them.
In the last three days, the MMDA apprehended a total of 53 colorum and out of line vehicles.
Crisanto Saruka, head of the MMDA’s Traffic Discipline Office, also over the weekend said out of the 53 vehicles, 37 were operating out of line and the rest colorum and with no certificates to operate as public conveyances.
He added that all the vehicles were immediately impounded by the MMDA in its holding area in Tumana, Marikina City, and their drivers slapped with penalty and traffic violation receipts.
MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said they are mandated under Republic Act 7924, the law creating the agency, to go after colorum vehicles.