MAYOR ESTRADA BLINKS ON MANILA TRUCK BAN

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Manila City Hall announced on Friday that it has allowed heavy trucks to enter Manila roads during daytime, giving them a window of five hours from 10a.m. to 3p.m.

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Vice Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso told The Manila Times that Mayor Joseph “Erap” Ejercito Estrada, in a meeting held on Thursday, acceded to 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.

The Manila City Council has passed an ordinance banning containers trucks to ply Manila streets from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The daytime ban was supposed to take effect last February 10, but was moved by Estrada to Feb. 24.

Before the passage of Ordinance 8336, MMDA allows six-wheeler trucks to use designated roads from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., a scheme called unified truck ban.

Meanwhile, an organization of haulers yesterday said they are not happy, saying five hours is not enough to accommodate 4,000 trucks inside the Manila ports. The ports can accommodate only 800 trucks at one 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., an organization of truck owners.

Rebao said what they want is a recall or repeal of Ordinance 8336 that will 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 (in) 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, warned Manila City Hall that canceling the daytime window would adversely affect the export industry.

Exports comprise 38.5 percent of constant price 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 business is losing P2.4 billion daily because of heavy traffic in Metro Manila alone.

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