Before last week’s long weekend started, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) launched its so-called Task Force Kamao, an effort to cleanse the country’s streets of colorum transport services.
In a statement released on March 28, DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said the task force’s ultimate purpose was to make public transportation safer.
As if to mimic President Rodrigo Duterte’s iron fist approach to law enforcement (kamao is the Filipino word for fist), the said task force would go after vehicles without franchise or registration to operate as public transport service.
As of publication time, the DOTr also included in its list the ‘habal-habal’, or motorcycles used as public transportation. Called by many names such as ‘angkas’ and ‘single’, these motorcycles have been steadily gaining popularity among those who do not want to get stuck in Manila’s congested traffic.
Headed by the DOtr, Task Force Kamao will rely on the cooperation of government agencies, namely Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), Land Transportation Office (LTO), Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Department of National Defense (DND), National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP), Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
Possibility of Success?
The DOTr admitted that commuters had a big role to play in the success of this law enforcement effort.
Colorum transport services, especially ‘habal-habal’, have been gaining popularity because of the market demand. As long as commuters patronize them, operators of these colorum vehicles will always find ways to dominate the streets.
On the other hand, the responsibility to provide a modernized, safe, and efficient public transport system is on the government. Without a clear public transport program, it is nearly impossible to weed out these colorum vehicles from the streets.
photo credits to Philippine News