MANILA, Philippines — A video of a van transporting people from Metro Manila went viral on social media recently.
According to Philippine National Police (PNP) Highway Patrol Group Director PBGen. Alexander Tagum, the vehicle was supposed to transport people from Metro Manila via Del Gallego in Camarines Sur where vans are waiting for transfer.
The vans will transport the passengers to a Ro-Ro terminal in Matnog, Sorsogon where they would go for a trip bound for Visayas and Mindanao.
This opted authorities to tighten border control and inspection against colorum vehicles for hire that operate in the National Capital Region, Regions 3, 4A, 4B, and 5.
“Nakahuli po ang tropa ko ng 13 colorum vehicles, 11 dito ay passenger van, 1 ay AUV, 1 kotse illegally transporting people towards Bicol region galing Metro Manila,” Tagum noted.
Police chief PGen. Debold Sinas ordered a random inspection on cargo trucks in every checkpoint manned by the PNP.
Tagum confirmed that the apprehended vehicles were already impounded and operators/owners were fined up to P200,000 each vehicle.
All passengers composed of around 100 individuals were turned over to their respective local government units (LGUs) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for swab testing and food and accommodation assistance.
All apprehended drivers will face charges in violation of the Section 9D and Republic Act 11332 or Non-Cooperation of Persons and Entities that should report or respond to notifiable diseases or health events of public concern.
They may be fined up to P20,000 to P50,000 and possible imprisonment of one to six months apart from possible revocation of license and suspension from employment due to violation of Commonwealth Act 146 or the Public Service Act on Public Convenience.