The Land Transportation Office (LTO) has strengthened its nationwide campaign against colorum vehicles by implementing a “No Release” policy of they are impounded.

These vehicles will only be released through a court order, despite the payment of fines by the registered owners, according to LTO Chief, Assistant Secretary Atty. Vigor D. Mendoza II.

“Masyado ng matagal at malalim ang problema sa ilegal na operasyon ng colorum vehicles sa ating bansa,” Mendoza said in a press statement.

“Kailangan na nating magpatupad ng mas mabigat na kaparusahan upang maipakita sa mga taong patuloy na nilalabag ang batas na seryoso ang ating pamahalaan upang tapusin ang modus nila,” he added.

According to LTO, transport groups have reported losing 30% of their daily income due to colorum vehicles.

A colorum vehicle is a private vehicle operating as a public utility vehicle (PUV) without the necessary permits from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

“May mga regulasyon patungkol sa operation ng public utility vehicles. Kung hindi po ito sinunod, maliwanag na iligal po ang operasyon nito and this is equivalent to committing a crime. Kaya may karampatang parusa at multa dito,” the transportation office chief stressed.

A memorandum was issued to all Regional Directors, District Office heads, and chiefs of LTO units, instructing them to file criminal cases immediately following successful anti-colorum operations.

Mendoza stated that failure to file these cases would result in administrative liability for the apprehending officers.

“Pending the criminal case, the unit should not be released without a court order as the vehicle is part of the evidence of the crime,” Mendoza added.

Since taking office in July last year, Mendoza has led aggressive anti-colorum operations, resulting in numerous arrests and vehicle impoundments.

The campaign has been supported by transport groups and directed by Department of Transportation Secretary Jaime J. Bautista to intensify efforts against colorum vehicles.

In February, the LTO filed charges against a van owner and a van driver for violating the Public Service Act, after they were found over charging passengers.