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LTO: Court order needed for release of colorum vehicles

MANILA, Philippines — The Land Transportation Office (LTO) will require a court order before releasing colorum vehicles as the government ramps up its campaign against illegal public utility vehicles, an official announced yesterday.

The LTO said it would not release vehicles apprehended during anti-colorum operations despite payment of fines by the registered owner.

LTO chief Vigor Mendoza said the “no release” policy aims to stop the operation of colorum vehicles.

Legitimate transport groups are complaining that they have lost 30 percent of their income due to colorum competitors.

Colorum operators are private vehicles that transport passengers without complying with legal requirements such as a franchise from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board.

The LTFRB said the number of colorum vehicles has been increasing, especially in the provinces.

Mendoza has ordered LTFRB regional and district offices to immediately file cases after every anti-colorum operation, otherwise they may face administrative liabilities.

“Pending the criminal case, the vehicle should not be released without a court order as the vehicle is part of the evidence. Releasing the vehicle is tantamount to infidelity in the custody of evidence,” he said.

In February, a van owner and driver were charged for violating Republic Act 11659 or the Public Service Act.