German businesses in the Philippines have added their voice to investors’ clamor for a lifting of the truck ban in key routes in the city of Manila, saying delays in delivery will lead to losses for manufacturers and retailers.
The German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GPCCI) said in a press release its member companies had written appeals to Mayor Joseph Estrada listing the impact of the ban on their business operations across the country.
GPCCI General Manager Nadine Fund said that while the truck ban may provide immediate relief to motorists and residents, it may eventually cost the jobs not only of truck drivers but also of employees of companies hurt by the ban.
The truck ban “will impact negatively for the commerce and industry of Metro Manila, nearby cities, provinces, and the country as a whole due to regulated movement of goods and services,” she cited one GPCCI member company as saying.
Fund expressed regret at the city government’s new policy, especially at a time when German businessmen have increasing interest in the Philippine market.
Most of these investments are in trading, air and sea freight, cargo forwarding, pharmaceuticals, automotive, engineering, and manufacturing equipment, as well as textiles and clothing.
Germany remains the key European trading partner of the Philippines with the value bilateral trade reaching €3.81 billion in 2012.
GPCCI members complained about th disruption of operations of manufacturers whose products are either partly or wholly dependent on raw materials that are trucked through Manila. Goods for export have suffered delayed deliveries because of the truck ban, Fund said.
In the long term, businesses will slow down and jobs will be lost due to lost hours and unmet business commitments and activities due to the truck ban, putting the country at a disadvantage vis-a-vis its competitors in the region.
Security costs will also increase with additional safety measures to secure delivery and checking for possible pilferage, Fund said.
“The city government should conduct a thorough study on how to ease the traffic in the city without disrupting businesses,” she said.
The GPCCI said the short-term solutions include the removal of illegally parked vehicles along major routes of delivery trucks and implementing of efficient parking rules.
Fund said a mid-term solution is to use the Subic and Batangas ports for international cargoes, provided all the necessary infrastructure in and around those areas are in place.
Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net