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Bohol Guv offers LTFRB free office space, manpower

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, June 16 (PIA) -- Seeing that a district office of the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) in Bohol would be a huge service to Boholanos, Gov. Erico Aristotle Aumentado offered the agency a free office space and complementary manpower.

With that, LTFRB-7 Regional Director and retired Col. Eduardo Montealto Jr. promised to work it out with their central office to start a district operation in Bohol.

The opening of a fully operational franchising and regulations office in Bohol means more accessible office to work out local franchised routes, public transport units registration for the route, and lesser costs as against transacting in their Cebu office.

During the Transportation Sector Forum called for by the Bohol Provincial Tourism Office for the Office of the Governor, Aumentado said he saw that a good balance of law enforcement and accessible means of getting legal action goes a long way compared to just setting up highway checkpoints.

Hundreds of vans serving tourism needs in Bohol are provided by illegal operators using colorum vans.

These vans, indistinguishable from the legally-operated vehicles, compete with those who transacted with the LTFRB for the tourist franchise, which, by law, should be brand new vehicles and should be ten units under one name.

Because transacting the franchise does not happen in one day, operators who tend to waste at least four trips to LTFRB Cebu to process the franchise often end up operating illegally instead.

A fixer for the franchise in Cebu allegedly demands P60,000 per transaction for Bohol operators, something that according to Montealto costs less than P5,000.

Moreover, with the LTFRB District office in Bohol, franchising authorities can also take easily to the highways and conduct checkpoints to apprehend vehicles operating without franchise.

While many think that apprehension and impounding of vehicles in violation of the franchise is not under LTFRB powers but the Land Transportation Office (LTO), Executive Order No. 202 which establishes the LTFRB also empowers the LTFRB to apprehend and impound vehicles.

Recently, the Department of Justice through Sec. Jesus Crispin Remulla, interpreting Joint Administrative Order (JAO) 2014-01, opined that the JAO is silent about the LTFRB power to impound while operating without the LTO.

On this, the LTFRB said that a DOJ secretary’s opinion is respected but the LTFRB can apprehend and impound erring operators’ vehicles.

Montealto said this is not a problem as the said agencies are under DOTr, so it is easy for the department to issue an order for deputation from the LTO, which officially legalizes the LTFRB apprehensions.

Violation for van operation without franchise is P200,000, and would certainly deter the van operators from pursuing their posing unjust competition to the legitimate operators.

LTO Bohol Chief Yvonne C. Auza admitted during the forum that their office is understaffed, and the moment they go on field operations, services at the office can be hampered.

She said colorum operators have also organized an online LTO Field Team tracker, allowing colorum vehicles to seek routes which help them avoid the roads where LTO has set up road inspections. (RAHC/PIA-7 Bohol)

About the Author

Rey Anthony Chiu

Regional Editor

Region 7

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