Manila’s City Hall has revised its daytime ban for heavy trucks, giving them a five-hour window in which to use the city’s roads.
Trucks will be allowed in Manila from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Vice Mayor Isko Moreno told The Manila Times on Friday.
Moreno said that at a meeting on Thursday, Mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada headed the requests of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the Commission on Human Rights and the nearby local government units to ease the daytime ban.
The city council had passed an ordinance banning container trucks from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The ban was to have taken effect last February 10, but was reset by Estrada to Feb. 24.
Under the MMDA’s unified truck ban, six wheelers are limited to designated roads from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m..
An organization of haulers said the five-hour window is not enough to accommodate 4,000 trucks coming from Manila’s ports. The ports have room for only 800 trucks at any given time.
“It is impossible to bring in the trucks inside the ports within five hours. We will be forced to park on the streets, and they will still apprehend our vehicles,” said Abraham Rebao, director of Aduana Business Club Inc.
Rebao said what they want is for Ordinance 8336 to be recalled or repealed to allow the trucks to use Manila roads for 24 hours.
“We are asking the city government to recall the ordinance on truck ban because it will result to more loses to businessmen, both export and import. Instead, they should get rid of these daytime truck ban and allow the heavy trucks 24-hours a day,” Rebao said.
Private exporters through the Export Development Council, an agency attached to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), warned Manila city hall that cancelling the daytime window would adversely affect the export industry.
Exports make up 38.5 percent of the Gross Domestic Product and employ a sizable number of workers. Most exports products have imported raw materials that are also unloaded in Manila ports.
In crafting the ordinance, the council cited a study of the Japan International Cooperation Agency that said P2.4 billion is lost daily because of the heavy traffic in Metro Manila.
JAIME R. PILAPIL