SENATOR Grace Poe called on government bodies to investigate unscrupulous people who may be connected to transportation officials and compelling operators and drivers to shell out hundreds of thousands cash for the release of their franchises which are supposed to be free.
“Kung may nangongolekta man mula sa LTFRB ay bawal po ‘yon. Dapat ‘yan isumbong sa otoridad para masampahan ng kaso at maparusahan ang mga may gawa niyan,” Poe said.
The senator has reminded the public that franchises for public utility vehicles (PUVs) do not entail exorbitant fees of up to P250,000.
“Gusto kong ipaalala sa ating mga kababayan na wala pong binabayarang prangkisa sa gobyerno. Iyan po ay isang pribilehiyo na binibigay ng gobyerno kung karapat-dapat silang bigyan ng prangkisa,” said Poe, who chairs the Senate public services committee.
Only administrative costs are assessed and properly issued receipts, she added.
It was alleged at a Senate hearing presided over by Poe last week that certain individuals claiming to be connected with the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX) were asking PUV operators to shell out P250,000 so that they can get a franchise.
Lawyer Marcelo Salud vehemently denied the allegation but admitted he was a former director at the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and consultant for PITX.
Poe said authorities should investigate and prosecute those behind the scheme.
In an advisory, the LTFRB said PUV franchises are “not for sale” and it “does not allow outsiders or fixers to intercede in the regular processing of the franchise issuances.”