DTI fears truck ban fallout
Government agencies are hard pressed to find a more “workable solution” to address congestion at the Port of Manila that has already caused prices of goods to inch up, the trade department said Tuesday.
Trade Secretary Gregory L. Domingo said prices of some goods had gone up by about 3-5 percent since the expanded truck ban policy was implemented by the Manila government in February this year.
“That’s why we don’t want this [truck congestion at the Manila Port] to become a permanent situation because it will further raise prices,” Domingo added.
The truck ban policy being implemented in the City of Manila bans eight-wheelers and vehicles with a gross weight of above 4,500 kilograms from plying Manila’s streets between 5 a.m. and 9 p.m.
A temporary concession was offered by the city government allowing trucks to ply its streets between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. during the next six months.
The truck ban prompted trucking firms to hike their respective hauling charges by an average of 50 percent, which will inevitably cause prices of goods to go up.
A meeting was held yesterday afternoon among the Departments of Trade and Industry, Transportation and Communications, Public Works and Highways, and Interior and Local Government to formulate solutions.
“We just want to look at what are the options available to make the system better given the existing truck ban policy,” Domingo explained.
Local and foreign business groups had warned of the serious damage that the expanded truck ban could cause the economy.
They pointed out that a “steady, well-managed flow of trucks with an effective appointment system will create less traffic disruption, will allow a more effective use of the port facilities and will maintain related cost at a reasonable level flow of imports and exports going [in and out of the country].”
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