PCCI asks gov’t to defer stiffer penalties on traffic violators
MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) has urged the government to defer the implementation of an administrative order imposing stiffer penalties on traffic violations, as this may only aggravate the congestion at the port of Manila.
In a statement, PCCI president Alfredo M. Yao explained that the organization is not against the intent of Joint Administrative Order (JAO) No. 2014-01, which was issued by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), the Land Transportation Office and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) last June 2.
The order, which was designed to ensure public road discipline and safety, imposes penalties ranging from higher fines to revocation of the registration of the apprehended vehicle and all other authorized units included in the franchise.
He stressed, however, that the “timing of the implementation is misplaced.”
According to Yao, the JAO may lead to a shortage of trucks, aggravating the ill effects of the port congestion in Manila which was made worse by the daytime Manila truck ban policy, which has since disrupted the flow of goods in and out of the country. The congestion has already led to higher truck rates, a container pileup at the Manila ports, delays in shipment deliveries and higher costs of goods.
“We have not yet recovered from losses caused by delivery delays, disruptions in our businesses 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. Otherwise, there might 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 explained.
“While the effects of the congestion has somewhat eased because of the opening of 24/7 express lanes on certain Manila thoroughfares, transport stakeholders project that the situation at the ports could still take months to normalize,” he said. “We hope the 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.”
Instead, the PCCI is urging the LTFRB to expedite and rationalize its processing of franchises to ensure that only legitimate operators are granted approval.
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