Truckers go on strike vs. Manila ordinance

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Haulers on Monday observed a one-day truck holiday to renew their call for the Manila City Hall to recall an ordinance banning cargo vehicles in the daytime, and voiced out their outrage at abusive towing firms, among other concerns.

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Abraham Rebao, a director of the Aduana Business Club, an organization of brokers and cargo truck owners, said that at exactly 8 a.m. yesterday drivers and truck helpers stopped moving their vehicles to and from the Manila ports.

Not a single heavy truck passed the Manila streets during the daytime window from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This is the third time that haulers observed a truck holiday since the effectivity of Ordinance 8336 last Feb. 24. The longest lasted for a week.

Some 12,000 trucks are affected by daytime truck ban.

Rebao said they also wanted to protest against abusive haulers who tow their vehicles indiscriminately. He said they were forced to cough out P10,000 for every apprehension. “We pay P5,000 to the towing firm, and another P5,000 for the violation receipt.”

Asked why the truck holiday was just for a day, Rebao said they did not want to worsen the congestion at Manila ports.

Stoppage of trucking services has a domino effect. Containers pile up at Manila ports. Export and imports are at a standstill. Haulers, truck drivers and their helpers are deprived of their daily income.

And, traffic enforcers, particularly those of Manila, are deprived of earnings from extortion.

Rebao said they are asking Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada to rescind Ordinance 8336, and allow trucks to ply the Manila streets round the clock.

He said allowing 24-hour road access would actually reduce the presence of trucks in the streets as haulers could spread out the schedule of deliveries.

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