Instead of calling on drivers and operators of public utility vehicles as well as motorists to obey the law, lawmakers have assailed the exorbitant fees slapped on operators of colorum or unregistered PUVs and errant drivers.
The congressmen expressed support for protesting transport groups that on Thursday failed to paralyze public transportation as their “transport caravan” had a minimal effect on commuters, according to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).
Party-list Representatives Neri Colmenares and Carlos Zarate of Bayan Muna and Fernando Hicap of Anakpawis protested against Joint Administrative Order 2014-01, which sets P6,000 to P1 million fines for violators.
Colmenares noted that the proliferation of colorum vehicles was not the fault of the lawbreakers but stemmed from the Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board’s (LTFRB) moratorium on issuing new franchises for buses since 2003.
“Colorum and out-of-line PUVs will proliferate if there are not enough buses and jeepneys with franchises to accommodate the growing number of passengers in Metro Manila and the provincial routes. The inefficiency and serious negligence on the part of government to address the overcrowding of hapless passengers in buses and other public transport is unacceptable,” he said.
“It’s about how the government is miserably implementing laws and guidelines on land transport. We are in solidarity with PUV operators and drivers with their cause to oppose and stop this unfair and outrageous joint administrative order. Even private motorists are encouraged to oppose this order,” Hicap said.
He tagged the high fees as a money-making scheme of the government, alleging that the LTFRB and the Land Transportation Office are known for tolerating “fixers” within their ranks.