LTO eyes criminal complaints vs. illegal PUV, school service operators

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 7) — The Land Transportation Office (LTO) on Thursday said it is considering filing criminal complaints against operators and drivers of illegal public utility and school service vehicles in its intensified crackdown on unlawful acts.

The LTO's intensified campaign follows an order from Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista over frequent complaints from legitimate PUV operators, LTO chief Vigor Mendoza II said.

Dati hindi kami nagfa-file ng (Before we did not file) criminal action regarding colorum vehicles. Now we’re looking at the possibility of filing criminal actions against operators, drivers who continue to use their vehicles illegally,” he told CNN Philippines’ The Source.

Mendoza said the illegal operations put passengers in danger as the vehicles did not go through evaluation.

He also said preventing illegal PUVs on the streets will help raise the income of licensed operators as they would be able to take in more passengers.

Mendoza pointed out that illegal PUVs eat up as much as a fifth of the daily income of a legitimate operator.

“It can cushion them, especially in these times of high fuel prices. If we can augment their income by apprehending these illegal activities then we can help the general public also by cushioning any possible fare increase. Maybe there may not be a need to go for a fare increase if we can really bring up the level of income of our legitimate public transport operators,” he explained.