I recently passed by the South Luzon Expressway where I noticed a sign about the anti-overloading law. This got me interested since I am engaged in the business of transporting dry goods wherein I have trucks frequenting major thoroughfares.
Does the law specify a limit on the load that a vehicle can carry? I also want to know the penalties if a vehicle is caught overloading. Thank you for your advice.
Your concern about the law on anti-overloading of vehicles is covered by Republic Act (RA) 8794 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) jointly issued by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), which contains the specific provisions on overloading and the penalties imposed on violators.
One of the stated policies in the IRR of RA 8794 is to provide adequate maintenance of national and provincial roads so as to ensure satisfactory service to road users, economic road transport operations and the preservation of road assets (Article I, 1(a)). In line with this policy, the IRR of this law states in detail the penalty for the use of overloaded vehicles, to wit:
(c) Penalty for Overloading: The Land Transportation Office (LTO) or its deputized officer shall require the owner of a truck or trailer which is loaded in excess of the maximum allowable gross vehicle weight (GVW) to pay a penalty in the amount equivalent to twenty-five percent (25 percent) of the MVUC applicable to the vehicle at the time of infringement, provided that the penalty shall be waived for loadings exceeding the GVW by a tolerance of less than five percent (5 percent), and that no vehicle shall be permitted to proceed on the roadway if either a dual-wheel axle load exceeds 13,500 kgs or the vehicle load exceeds one hundred fifty percent (150 percent) of the maximum allowable GVW.
As stated in this above-cited provision, the limit on the maximum load that a vehicle may carry depends primarily on the vehicle’s maximum allowable gross vehicle weight. The law tolerates load that exceeds less than five percent (5 percent) of the vehicle’s maximum allowable gross weight. But should the vehicle’s weight exceed the specified tolerance level, the owner of the truck shall be liable for a penalty equivalent to twenty-five percent (25 percent) of the motor vehicle user’s charge applicable to the vehicle at the time of infringement. The rate of the motor vehicle user’s charge depends on the type of the vehicle that is specified under RA 8794 through a schedule of rates.
Aside from imposing a fine for overloading vehicles, the aforementioned law provides that vehicles with dual-wheel axle load exceeding 13,500 kgs and those vehicles whose load exceeds one hundred fifty percent (150 percent) of the maximum allowable gross vehicle weight shall not be permitted to traverse roadways.
Owing to the specific details on the limits of a vehicle’s load, it is important that you are mindful of your vehicle’s maximum allowable gross vehicle weight and strictly observe the prescribed weight limit in order to avoid being apprehended and penalized for overloading.
Again, we find it necessary to mention that this opinion is solely based on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. The opinion may vary when the facts are changed or elaborated.
We hope that we were able to enlighten you on the matter.
Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org