PH businessmen seek suspension of new rules on colorum operators
MANILA, Philippines – The country’s largest business group has asked for a suspension of the imposition of higher fines and penalties on colorum vehicle operators, citing its potential adverse effect on the movement of goods in the country.
The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) made the request a few days after transportation authorities began implementing Joint Administrative Order No. 2014-01 (JAO 2014-01) which increases the fines and penalties for colorum vehicle operators.
PCCI president Alfredo Yao stressed that the business group is not against the intent of the JAO, which is to promote road discipline and safety, but believes the timing is "misplaced" and would become another blow to businessmen after the Manila daytime truck ban.
The PCCI fears the implementation of the JAO will lead to a shortage of trucks, which would further aggravate the problem of businessmen already burdened by port congestion in Manila caused by the truck ban in the nation’s capital.
“We hope that government grants our request to defer the implementation. This problem of truck shortage will especially be acute for perishable commodities for consumption or as raw materials in production,” Yao said.
The PCCI said that the port congestion in Manila has already led to higher truck rates, a container pileup at the Manila ports, and delays in shipment deliveries. Though measures have been undertaken to ease the problem, businessmen believe it would take months before the situation in the ports normalize.
“We have not yet recovered from losses caused by delivery delays, disruptions in our business and additional costs that resulted from the port congestion. We need some more time to address this issue first before the full implementation of JAO,” Yao said.
He added, “Otherwise, we are afraid that there will be no more goods to sell in the markets if trucks and similar vehicles to move goods are prevented from doing so at this time.”
Yao said the PCCI is also pushing for the speedy and “rationalized” processing of franchises by the LTFRB.
The JAO was issued by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on June 2 and implemented June 19.
Under the order, first-time “colorum offenders” face the following fines: motorcycles, P6,000 (US$136); jeepneys, P50,000 (US$1,114); sedans, P120,000 (US$2,733); vans, P200,000 (US$2,555); trucks, P200,000 (US$2,555); and buses, up to P1 million (US$22,000).
On the first day of JAO implementation, authorities nabbed 10 colorum buses whose operators would have been fined P1 million (US$22,000) per bus. – Rappler.com