It seems that despite the increase in the number of infections, some colorum vehicle operators/drivers continue to downplay the pandemic.
Just recently, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) apprehended 12 colorum vehicles that tried to enter various towns and cities in the Bicol region. Ten of the said vehicles even attempted entering the Bicol Regional Border in Camarines Sur. The other two vehicles were apprehended in Metro Manila just as they were on their way to Bicol.
According to the Bicol Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO), 79 passengers who rode the colorum vehicles tested positive, and all came from the National Capital Region (NCR).
DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade stressed they are blatantly violating the quarantine protocols. He noted that these passengers are putting vulnerable individuals at risk as well.
“Isantabi muna natin ang pansariling interes para isalba ang buhay ng nakararami. Buhay ‘ho ang pinag-uusapan dito. Buhay ‘ho ang nakataya dito, kaya’t huwag tayong pasaway,” added Tugade.
[Let us first put aside self-interest to save the lives of the majority. Life is what we are talking about here. Life is at stake here, so let's not be hard-headed]
But how were these colorum vehicles able to pick up passengers? According to the DOTr, it starts with dispatchers who search for passengers on Facebook and make online bookings there. Once they have a sufficient number of passengers, dispatchers will call a colorum operator to pick up the booked passengers.
With this new modus operandi, enforcers from the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) in NCR continuously monitor the terminals in Pasay and Cubao. Meanwhile, LTO enforcers stationed in Region V are stationed at the Bicol border to arrest violators. The DOTr believes that this will ultimately put a stop to the illegal operations.
LTO enforcers, the Philippine National Police, and the Philippine Army continue to conduct Anti-Colorum Operations at the Bicol Regional Border in Del Gallego, Camarines Sur.
As for those within the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) zones, it's best to avoid leaving the premises of your homes unless it is necessary, per the Government's request.