LTFRB director fired over alleged extortion in Bicol

Robie de Guzman   •   December 4, 2019   •   830

Former LTFRB Bicol Director II Vladimir Custer Kahulugan

MANILA, Philippines – A regional director of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has been dismissed from office over alleged extortion in Bicol.

In a statement, the LTFRB said that Bicol Director II Vladimir Custer Kahulugan was ordered terminated by the Office of the President in an order released last November 28.

LTFRB chairman Martin Delgra said Kahulugan was sacked after he was allegedly found demanding “monthly protection money” from operators of public utility vehicles (PUV) in the Bicol region.

The Investigation, Security, and Law Enforcement Staff of the Department of Transportation conducted an investigation into Kahulugan following a complaint from a bus operator.

Delgra said that probe findings reaching his office indicated that Kahulugan, together with four other members of the LTFRB enforcement team, have been allegedly collecting money from PUV operators.

The agency said Kahulugan’s alleged cohorts, identified as Narciso Juntereal, Robert Pacurib, Jose Pado, and Eduardo Felix, reportedly evaded an entrapment operation launched in July.

Investigating officials also found that Kahulugan’s team was allegedly involved in “hulidap” operations where they apprehend PUVs and subsequently released in exchange for grease money.

“Likewise, Kahulugan’s group were found allegedly “protecting” drivers and operators of colorum vehicles,” the LTFRB added.

The DOTR investigators have recommended the filing of criminal charges against Kahulugan, and the deactivation of the Bicol Inter-Agency Road Safety Operation (BIARSO) organized against colorum vehicles, which he allegedly used in his extortion activities.

‘Bising’ slightly weakens as it moves slowly over PH sea

UNTV News   •   April 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Typhoon “Bising” has slightly weakened and is now moving slowly over the Philippine Sea east of Catanduanes, the state weather bureau PAGASA said on Sunday, April 18, 2021.

At 10:00 p.m. Sunday, the center of the eye of Typhoon “Bising” was located at 270 km east of Virac, Catanduanes packing maximum sustained winds of 195 km/h near the center and gustiness of up to 240 km/h.

“The recent weakening of ‘Bising’ after reaching its peak intensity was caused by a recently completed eyewall replacement cycle. The typhoon is forecast to maintain its current intensity in the next 24 to 48 hours before gradually weakening throughout the remainder of the forecast period,” PAGASA said.

“Bising” will bring moderate to heavy, with at times intense, rains on Monday (April 19) over Bicol Region, Northern Samar, Samar, Eastern Samar, Biliran, and Leyte.

Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal no. 2 is hoisted over the following areas:

  • LUZON:

Catanduanes, the eastern portion of Camarines Sur (Garchitorena, Presentacion, Caramoan, Sagnay, San Jose, Lagonoy), the eastern portion of Albay (Tiwi, Malinao, Tabaco City, Malilipot, Santo Domingo, Bacacay, Rapu-Rapu, Legazpi City, Manito), and the eastern and central portions of Sorsogon (Castilla, Sorsogon City, Prieto Diaz, Gubat, Barcelona, Casiguran, Juban, Magallanes, Bulan, Bulusan, Irosin, Santa Magdalena, Matnog)

  • VISAYAS:

Northern Samar, Samar, Eastern Samar, and Biliran

Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal no. 1 is hoisted over the following areas:

  • LUZON:

The eastern portion of Camarines Norte (San Lorenzo Ruiz, San Vicente, Vinzons, Talisay, Daet, Mercedes, Basud), the rest of Camarines Sur, the rest of Albay, the rest of Sorsogon, and Masbate including Burias and Ticao Islands

  • VISAYAS:

Leyte, Southern Leyte, and the northern portion of Cebu (Tabogon, Borbon, San Remigio, Bogo City, Medellin, Daanbantayan) including Bantayan and Camotes Islands

  • MINDANAO:

Dinagat Islands, Siargao Islands, and Bucas Grande Islands

Typhoon Bising is forecast to continue moving slowly in the next 6 to12 hours as it begins to turn generally northward over the Philippine Sea east of Catanduanes.

Afterwards, the typhoon will continue moving northward while gradually accelerating until Wednesday evening before turning northeastward and east northeastward away from the landmass of Luzon.

 

 

43 illegally operating vehicles, impounded in NCR under anti-colorum drive — LTFRB

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has reported that 43 private vehicles have been impounded during the agency’s anti-colorum drive.

LTFRB Executive Director Joel Bolano on Friday (April 16) reported that as of April 12, 43 units have been impounded for unauthorized operations.

He also reminded the public not to hire services from colorum units especially if the implemented health and safety protocols are not followed.

Huwag pumatol sa mga colorum. Hindi po nasusunod ang ating health protocols. Baka sa kagustuhan po nating makauwi, iyong pasalubong na ating maiwuuwi ay virus. Wala rin po silang insurance na pwedeng sumagot. Ang mga public utility ay mayroon passenger accident insurance. Sana po sundan natin ang mga patakaran pagdating sa public transport (Let us not hire colorum units. They may not be following health protocols. Due to our desire to go home, we might bring home the virus instead. [These colorum] also do not have any insurance. Our public utility has what we call passenger accident insurance. I hope we follow the rules when it comes to public transport),he said.

Meanwhile, the agency admits there is a challenge in monitoring PUVs when it comes to following the 50% limited capacity.

Bolano said they are coordinating with various government agencies to make sure health protocols, as well as limited capacity in public transport, are implemented. AAC

Additional 195 routes for provincial buses to open April 15 — LTFRB

Marje Pelayo   •   April 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines —  The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) announced that 195 routes in different parts of the country are set to open on Thursday (April 15) for the operation of 2,665 provincial public utility buses (PUBs).

This is in compliance with Memorandum Circular No. 2021-023 issued by the LTFRB and to uphold the mandate of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) of providing convenient travel to the riding public.

Such a move is expected to minimize or fully stop the operation of out-of-line or “colorum” vehicles which the DOTr sees as among the main contributors to the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to different parts of the country.

Though the LTFRB announced these new routes, protocols will still depend on the restrictions and requirements imposed by respective local government units (LGUs) particularly the decision to open their borders to public vehicles coming from other LGUs.

To check the additional routes, click this link.

Roadworthy provincial buses may operate if they have a valid personal passenger insurance policy in the new routes.

Vehicles allowed in the new routes are those with a QR code from LTFRB which must be printed and displayed in the bus unit.

QR Codes can be downloaded from the LTFRB’s official website www.ltfrb.gov.ph.

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