Palace: Gov't, truckers seek compromise on truck ban
MANILA, Philipines – Malacañang is seeking a compromise between the government and truck owners that would appease both sides after truckers cried out against the Manila truck ban instituted earlier this week.
On Wednesday, February 26, Presidential Deputy Spokesperson Abigail Valte said the Office of Secretary Rene Almendras "called the concerned national government agencies to explore ways to move forward on this."
Valte said the meeting was called last week between the national government, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), Land Transportation Franchise Regulatory Board (LTFRB), Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO), and Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO).
From the meeting, Valte said MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino has been tasked to speak to Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, while Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) General Manager Juan Sta Ana is tasked to speak with truckers.
Valte said bridging the communication between the local government unit and the Truckers Associations has already led to changes.
"In the beginning it was a total ban. Now, there are window hours. So we will continue pushing ways to find a solution because both groups are well-meaning. Both have their own reasons and our task is to help them come up with a compromise that is acceptable to both," Valte explained.
Drop in revenues
Valte also said it would be up to the PPA to decide on how to use its ports outside Manila to decongest traffic, especially after the Bureau of Customs reported a drop in revenues after the truck ban was implemented.
The city of Manila, where the two ports are located, implemented starting February 24 a daytime ban on trucks and other vehicles with gross weights above 4,500 kilograms. Those carrying perishables, petroleum products, and trucks involved in government projects, however, are exempted from the ban.
Truck operators can also ask for exemptions from the city government. Trucks are banned from entering and traversing the city from 5 am to 9 pm, with a window period from 10 am to 3 pm.
The window period, however, will only be in place for 6 months, so ports in neighboring provinces such as Subic and Batangas will have time to adjust to increased activity in their harbors.
Truck owners and operators have opposed the ban, saying it will affect business. They also expressed dismay over the window period, saying it was not enough to do business well. - Rappler.com