Truckers on Thursday said they will defy the seven-hour window in Manila’s truck ban and set no hours in plying the city streets.
Abraham Rebao, director of Aduana Business Club, one of the organizations of haulers, said they reached the decision after Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Ejercito Estrada ignored the agreement reached last Wednesday at a meeting of truckers with Cabinet Secretary Rene Almendras.
“We met last night at Philippine Ports Authority [PPA] headquarters and it was agreed that Mayor Erap will allow 24 hours for export and import trucking,” Rebao told The Manila Times.
In a Tweet message, Vice Mayor Isko Moreno said it is not true that the daytime window has been shelved.
“We have a new daytime window, instead of five hours, we extended it to seven hours.
Effective today, the window hour is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.,” Moreno said.
Previously trucks were given only until 3 p.m. to use the city roads.
Moreno said the new window is only for two weeks.
The truckers want the daytime ban lifted and allow free movement of goods to and from Manila’s ports.
Rebao, meanwhile clarified that the resumption of trips is only for three days “just so to unclog the congestion at Manila ports” since the strike went into effect Monday.
On Thursday, the PPA said the congestion at the North Harbor has reached critical level, with shipping containers piling up.
Malacañang tried to step in last Wednesday to break the impasse between Manila City Hall and the truckers.
Estrada and Moreno were unfazed by the congestion at the ports.
As of yesterday, Rebao said some 7,000 trucks are stuck at the ports.