In anticipation of the holiday season where a record number of cargoes is expected to arrive at the Port of Manila, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) will be accepting applications for Provisional Authorities (PAs) by truck owners using the country’s premier port.
When issued, the PAs will be valid until January 15, 2015.
During a Cabinet Cluster meeting on congestion at the Manila port, the LTFRB was directed to accept new applications for the PAs, which would enable about 5,000 trucks of the approximately 12,000 trucks that currently use the port to enter and leave the port conveniently.
“After a careful study of the port situation and consideration of the plight of truck port users as well as the possible economic impact [on]our local agri-business sector and consumers, we will comply with the directive of the Cabinet Cluster,” LTFRB Chairperson Lawyer Winston Ginez said.
Ginez added that the board “support[s]the national government’s recommendation to extend issuance of PAs to truck port users to ensure sufficiency and availability of cargo trucks to decongest the Port of Manila.”
According to the House Joint Committees on Transportation and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, congestion at the Port of Manila was exacerbated by a truck ban imposed by the Manila city government earlier this year, costing the country about P450 billion in lost revenues from February to July 2014 alone.
Since the truck ban was lifted, movement of goods to and from the port has increased by as much as 40 percent.
With a big volume of shipments that still needs to be cleared from the Port of Manila, however, congestion remains a problem.
According to George Chua, president of Federation of Philippine Industries, “The lack of cargo trucks will cause massive problems for consumers and businessmen, especially now that we have a backlog of more than 20 ships queued for berthing at the Port of Manila.”
Commenting on the LTFRB’s decision, Chua said, “At this point, any plan that can help get precious goods in and out of country and help sustain the country’s fast-growing economy is welcome.”