Tugade defends Coron crackdown versus colorums

Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade this week defended the government’s ongoing crackdown on colorum vehicles, amidst criticisms raised by local officials following its crackdown in Coron that the non-issuance of franchise lines by the regulatory agency has encouraged the use of colorum vehicles as public transport.

“Do we need to be illegal to address that need? No. What’s illegal is illegal. If we fall short of public utility vehicles, we will add more but in a right way,” Tugade said.

Tugade was responding to the situation in Coron where a recent campaign against colorum vehicles hit the town’s tourism sector as most public vehicles providing transport services to tourists have no franchises issued. Several local officials have called on the national government to the absence of franchise lines in Palawan that operators can avail.

Tugade however also said he will “give priority” to the need to establish a Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) office in Palawan that will help address the proliferation of colorum vehicles in the province.

“On the question about the possibility of putting up a LTFRB office here, the answer is ‘yes’ because that’s what your population density dictates. I will give priority to that. I will call the LTO later to ask what can be done,” he said.

Tugade was in the province Thursday to inaugurate the San Vicente airport.

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