THE Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday rejected a petition of transport groups for a temporary restraining order to stop the government from imposing higher penalties that would reach up to P1 million for “colorum” or unauthorized public utility vehicles (PUVs).
It ordered the government, which will implement such penalties starting June 19, to comment on its decision within 10 days.
Named respondents in the petition were Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya; Alfonso Tan Jr., Land Transportation Office assistant secretary; and Winston Ginez, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board chairman.
The petition for certiorari was filed by Angat Tsuper Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator ng Pilipinas-Genuine Organization (Angat Tsuper/Stop & Go) that said the government committed grave abuse of discretion for issuing Joint Administrative Order 2014-01.
The petitioners argued that the order was “vague” for it does not indicate who will be the one paying the penalties, whether the owner/operator or the driver of the public utility vehicle.
They claimed that the order violated due process because the fines are a thousand-fold higher than the penalties under the Land Transportation and Traffic Code of 1964.
Under the joint order, the fines for first-time colorum offenders are: trucks—P200,000; jeepneys–P50,000; vans–P200,000; sedans–P120,000; motorcycles—P6,000; and buses—P1 million.
Also, the colorum vehicles will be impounded for a minimum of three months.
Such vehicles’ certificates of public convenience and their registrations will be revoked. They will also be blacklisted from being used as PUVs in the future.