The Confederation of Truckers Association of the Philippines (CTAP) is planning to create an emergency response team that will be called upon to handle road incidents involving trucks, following an agreement with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).
CTAP director Alberto Suansing, in a phone interview with PortCalls, said the plan is part of the agreement made with MMDA at a recent meeting, in which the truckers’ group committed to provide its own cranes to be used during road emergencies involving trucks.
Suansing said CTAP is currently making an inventory of member truckers which have their own cranes and forklifts that can be deployed during such emergencies. In an emergency, MMDA can call CTAP’s emergency response team which will then call a member that has equipment near the emergency site to come to the scene, he added.
The plan, which Suansing noted is doable, will be formally submitted to MMDA “as soon as possible.”
Another agreement is for the trucking confederation to conduct a meeting with container yard operators about reducing or removing truck queues near container yards, especially in the Malabon and C.P. Garcia Avenue areas. Suansing said one of their possible requests is for the container yard operators to provide their own queuing area and to extend their operations to 24 hours.
CTAP must also hold a dialogue with Manila port operators to reevaluate the effectiveness of the Terminal Appointment Booking System (TABS), an online scheduling system that spreads over 24 hours the orderly daily pullout and delivery of containers at the Manila port.
Suansing assured that truckers will not call for the system’s abolition, but only for solutions to some of the truckers’ issues with the system. Trucks with TABS appointment are exempted from MMDA’s truck ban.
MMDA, for its part, agreed to provide CTAP a list of accredited towing companies and the matrix of towing fees, and to conduct an ocular inspection along R-10 and Mindanao Avenue, where trucks usually ply, within the month.
MMDA also heeded the call of the group to allot within the month an additional truck lane along C-5 to be used by trucks from 12 a.m. to 4 a.m.
MMDA general manager Thomas Orbos said the extra lane aims to facilitate transport of delivery trucks on the whole stretch of C-5, which has seen a huge increase in the volume of trucks passing through during truck hours. – Roumina Pablo
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