Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino on Sunday said that the agency is set to open 24/7 “last mile” truck routes to Cavite and Laguna in time for the coming Christmas season in a bid to further decongest the ports in Manila.
Tolentino noted that the measure was devised during a recent Cabinet cluster meeting attended by officials of the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), truckers, and warehouse owners.
Under the measure, the government will assure the movement of container and cargo trucks from the ports in Manila to warehouses within and outside Metro Manila.
To do this, Tolentino said the government is planning to open more truck lanes to expedite the movement of cargoes out of ports.
“These last mile truck routes aim to help those trucks coming out of the ports in Manila who are using the express truck lanes to get to their warehouses,” Tolentino said in MMDA’s weekly radio program.
The warehouses, he added, are usually located in provinces outside Metro Manila such as Cavite and Laguna.
The MMDA chief pointed out that even though the MMDA and the Manila City Government have opened 24/7 express truck lanes along Roxas Boulevard, Quirino Avenue and Osmeña Highway, long queues of trucks along the cited roads are still being observed.
Tolentino attributed the long queues to the PPA’s opening of only a single gate for incoming and outgoing trucks.
He said truckers also complained that even if they are able to use 24/7 truck lanes from the port, they sometimes fail to complete their deliveries to their warehouses because of truck bans imposed in some cities in Metro Manila.
Tolentino, moreover, said that the agency would still need to secure a list of warehouses from the PPA and the Bureau of Customs in order for the MMDA to map out the last mile truck routes.
“We have already asked for the list and we are only waiting for the reply of the concerned offices,” he said.
The said routes, the MMDA chief said, may be used for two weeks in September.
“This will be a great help to the economy especially now that Christmas is nearing. We want to be able to clear the cargoes from the ports to avoid price escalation of goods,” he said.
He also urged the PPA to open more port gates for truckers to hasten their deliveries.