Truck owners are vehemently opposing City Ordinance 8336 that bans trucks on Manila streets and have vowed to seek a temporary restraining order to pave the way for the total junking of the ordinance.
“We are asking the city government to recall the ordinance on truck ban because it will result in more loses to businessmen, both exporters and importers. Instead, they should allow heavy trucks 24-hours a day,” Abraham Rebao, director of Aduana Business Club, told The Manila Times.
Manila Mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada earlier ordered the postponement of the ban to February 24 to avoid legal problems, particularly the Civil Code requirement that a law takes effect only after 15 days of publication in a national newspaper.
Councilor Joel Chua said councilors met with Vice Mayor Isko Moreno and representatives from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the national government on Wednesday evening. They agreed to postpone the implementation of the ordinance, which forbids eight-wheeler trucks from Manila streets from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. The new law sets aside the MMDA unified truck ban, which is from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
The Manila ordinance was approved on third reading last Wednesday prompting Estrada to announce that it will be implemented on Monday, February 10. Before the passage of the ordinance, heavy trucks were allowed to enter Manila from only 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Citing a study of the Japan International Cooperation Agency, Chua said business was losing P2.4 billion daily because of heavy traffic in Metro Manila alone.
Rebao said 4,000 container trucks enter and exit Manila daily, but ports in Manila could only accommodate 800 heavy vehicles inside their compounds, given procedural red tape and the time consumed in docking ships.
He said members of Aduana Business Club, including big brokers namely Asian Terminal Inc. and International Container Terminal Services, will meet on Monday to discuss their best option to pressure the city hall not to implement the daytime truck ban.
The club’s executive vice president, Rey Soliman, said that while they were invited by the council during public hearings, the council failed to call for a technical group meeting to discuss the details and the impact of the truck ban not only to haulers but also to operators of Manila ports.
Soliman said the city hall also failed to conduct a dry run to anticipate problems with the implementation of the truck ban.
Chua blamed the truck ban for the exit of garment factories from the country.
“Investors transferred to Vietnam and Bangladesh because it took time for materials to reach their factory from the ports.”
Rebao said their group has sent their position paper to the MMDA, the Department of Interior and Local Government and Malacañang, asking for help and detailing their reasons for opposing the Manila truck ban, including the possibility of an increase in the prices of goods, labor reduction and curtailed profit, among others.
He said the truck ban will just worsen traffic since trucks and their container loads have no other option but to park along the streets during the truck ban period.