ArchivesOctober 2010Colorum operators to go legit

Colorum operators to go legit

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The “colorum” vehicles’ days of playing cat-and-mouse with the Land Transportation Office may soon be over with the prospect of legalizing their operations.

“Colorum” vehicles, Filipino slang for unregistered public utility vehicles, had been operating since time immemorial because of stringent requirements of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board. There are over 40 such units operating in Negros Oriental.

The Tourism Act of 2009 requires that only vehicles duly-accredited by the Department of Tourism may apply for a franchise for a “Tourist Transport Service” with the LTFRB. These accredited vehicles are the ones sporting rainbow-colored plates.

Even hotels and resorts need this kind of accreditation for their vehicles to ferry guests to and from the airport.

To get an accreditation, there are several requirements to comply with. Among the requirements are that the operator should have at least three vehicles and that these vehicles should not be older than five years.
These requirements are among the biggest obstacles for a “colorum” operator to be legitimate, not to mention that the LTFRB has a moratorium on the issuance of additional franchises.

But in a dialogue last Tuesday between the colorum operators and other tourism stakeholders on one hand and representatives of the LTFRB and Land Transportation Office on the other, the possibility of obtaining a franchise for their cooperative, the Metro Dumaguete Taxi Drivers’ Cooperative (Medtadco), surfaced.
The dialogue was sponsored by the Negros Oriental Business Development Foundation, the Negros Oriental Investment Promotions Center and the Negros Oriental Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc., with support from the Enhancing Food Security (EFOS) project.

LTFRB-7 Chief Transport Development Officer Douglas Sanson said that it is possible for the political leaders of the province to ask the Secretary of Transportation and Communications to lift the moratorium on Tourist Transport Services franchises for Negros Oriental because of the felt need for this kind of service.

Sanson added that for as long as there is a management agreement between the cooperative and its members, operators who own only one unit may be covered by the franchise.

There are 14 Medtadco members who are qualified for accreditation by the DOT leading to a Tourist Transport Service franchise by the LTFRB.

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