Manila defers truck ban after industry outcry

February 07,2014

Manila mayor Joseph Estrada. INQUIRER file photo

Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada has deferred the implementation of the city’s daytime truck ban to February 24. He said that this will give the cargo companies two weeks to make necessary adjustments to their operations. The daytime truck ban was touted as a measure to improve traffic flow in the city.


The ordinance stipulates that eight-wheel trucks and vehicles with gross weight above 4,500 kilograms will be banned from Manila roads from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. The new measure is seven hours longer than the previous ban.


On the hours that trucks are allowed to pass through Manila, they can do so only on designated truck routes. Trucks carrying perishable goods and petroleum products, as well as vehicles used for government projects are exempted from the ban.



On the same day Estrada talked tough on the ban, the head of Aduana Business Club Inc. (ABCI), an organization of importers, exporters, licensed brokers and truckers, openly criticized the measure, saying the group had been opposing it since the council hearings. ABCI president Mary Zapata warned of economic repercussions and called it a form of “political suicide” on the part of its proponents.

Another ABCI official weighed in on Thursday, saying the new ban could be intended as an act of “economic sabotage” that would reflect badly on the administration of President Aquino and Interior Secretary Mar Roxas.


“Rey Salgado, ABCI vice president for government affairs questioned the ban. “Why are they doing this? This will hike up overhead expenses and the price of commodities will increase. If raw materials are not delivered on time, factories might shut down. If exporters cannot deliver, their contracts will be pulled out,” said.


“President Aquino is inviting investors to come here but this measure will choke businessmen. To whom will it boomerang? To the leadership of Malacañang and the DILG (Department of the Interior and Local Government),” Salgado said in a media forum at Aloha Hotel.

For his part, Estrada replied to Salgado’s remarks, “Of course not. That’s the last thing I’ll ever do. There’s no politics here. We are just putting things in order.”


“We’re thinking of the greater good for the greatest number. Students and employees are affected by traffic. The truckers will be free to use the roads, even Roxas Boulevard, from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.,” Estrada said.


Speaking next to Estrada during a briefing on Monday, Vice Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso maintained that stakeholders were consulted on the ban through public hearings and a traffic summit.


Domagoso said that “99 percent” of them were opposed to it.


With a report by Erika Sauler



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