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Truckers strike in Manila starts Monday
The Alliance of Concerned Truck Owners and Organizations (ACTOO) has announced that they will stage an indefinite strike starting at 8am at the Port Area in Manila. They are protesting the expanded truck ban that will be implemented in the City of Manila starting February 24.
According to ACTOO chairman Ricky Papa, the Manila City government failed to listen to their appeals and “insulted” them with its new truck ban policy.
“All members of trucking organizations and members of other sectors affected will participate in the strike. No deliveries will be made starting [Monday,]” he told the Inquirer in a phone interview.
He added: “We want the city government to realize the effect of this ban on truck operations in Manila and the whole metropolis.”
ACTOO, a coalition of six trucking organizations with 12,000 trucks, spearheaded the idea of declaring a “truck holiday” last week, a move that quickly gained support among other trucker groups.
Papa said he was hopeful that their decision to halt operations indefinitely would prompt the city government to go back to implementing the old truck ban, which prohibited them from using Manila’s roads from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Under the new expanded truck ban, eight-wheel trucks and vehicles with a gross weight of 4,500 kilograms will be barred from going out into the city’s roads from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m., except on Sundays and holidays.
“This is all we are asking from them because this new ban will greatly affect the operations of truckers as well as the economy of the country,” Papa said.
Longer delivery time
According to Papa, under the new truck ban policy, what takes them just a day to deliver will now take up to three days.
“If we are just thinking about our profits, we can surely take that deal because it will mean triple income for us, too,” he explained, adding that they could opt to charge their clients thrice the usual rate for a day’s delivery.
He concludes that this would have a negative impact on Filipino consumers. “We can expect a rise in the prices of basic commodities with the implementation of this ban,” he said.
Last Thursday, the city government made a concession to truckers, saying they would be allowed, at least for the next six to eight months, to also ply their routes between the window period of 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
According to Vice Mayor Francisco “Isko” Domagoso, the temporary arrangement would give businesses time to “transfer operations to the Subic and Batangas ports.”
However, Papa said the additional five-hour period was still not enough time for truckers to complete their deliveries.
Meanwhile, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chair Francis Tolentino on Sunday urged truckers to support the modified truck ban policy.
“The city government gave them [an] additional five hours for six months. I think this is a win-win solution since they are now allowed to ply roads [in Manila] for 13 hours instead of the originally planned eight hours,” he said during the agency’s radio program.
“This is a big concession on the part of the city government of Manila. Let us help each other. What they (truckers) plan to do on Monday will harm our economy,” Tolentino added.
Tolentino also pointed out that the Philippine Ports Authority and Bureau of Customs had also expressed willingness to adjust their work schedules according to the new expanded truck ban.
Papa, however, stressed that only the suspension of the new policy’s implementation would make them back down from their threat. Another organization, the Confederation of Truckers Association of the Philippines, also vowed to join the truck holiday.
In a related development, the MMDA on Sunday issued a traffic advisory detailing the truck routes in Manila as provided under City Ordinance No. 8336.
It said trucks coming from the North Luzon Expressway going to North Harbor must take the Circumferential Road (C2) and turn left to Road 10.
Northbound trucks coming from North Harbor should turn left to Road 10 all the way to the Circumferential Road (C3).
Trucks coming from the Manila Harbor Center Industrial Park will be allowed to turn right to Road 10 and make a U-turn before Capulong Street to C2.
Trucks coming from Osmeña Highway to South Harbor, on the other hand, must turn right to Quirino Avenue using its left innermost lane, then turn left to Ayala Boulevard (right lane) and straight to Finance Street, left to Padre Burgos Street (using right lane), right to Roxas Boulevard, then left to 25th Street.