It’s only a stopgap measure. The truck holiday is not over.
The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Friday extended the operating hours at the Port of Manila and the Manila International Container Port (MICP) to address the backlog brought about by the three-day truck holiday earlier this week.
Deliveries, however, can again be expected to grind to a halt next week. Haulers said they will operate only until Sunday (March 2) and will resume their truck holiday on Monday (March 3).
Customs public information chief Charo Logarta said overtime work at the two ports started last Thursday when truckers decided to deliver the containers vans to their various destinations.
She added that the Customs port office is operational today (Saturday) since thousands of container vans have piled up to a critical level since Monday (February 24).
“Our office opens at 9 a.m. and closes at 5 p.m. to process the documents,” Logarta said.
She said the BOC is willing to operate on Sunday if there is a need.
Around 1,500 vans enter Manila’s port, while 2,800 containers arrive at MICP everyday.
The MICP earned only P262.8 on the first day of truck strike, 27 percent lower than its daily average of P360 million.
The Port of Manila earned P134.4 million on Monday, 47 percent lower than its P253 million daily average.
Customs Commissioner John Paul Sevilla said 48 percent of the collection of the bureau is derived from the two ports.
Since Monday, the Manila city government has opened a five-hour window for trucks, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., which was modified on Thursday to 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Truckers in protest of the daytime window immediately declared a truck holiday only to resume operations Thursday.
On Saturday, two container trucks figured in separate incidents.
Around 6 a.m., a 40-footer container fell from a 18-wheeler truck (license plate ZJL-595) when maneuvering at Anda Circle, Port Area.
The driver, Benjie Chiquito, admitted he forgot to lock the container on the flatbed truck.
A few minutes later, another truck, driven by Jeffret Luhayan, plowed into concrete road barriers.