The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) has asked the Confederation of Truckers Association of the Philippines (CTAP) to police its ranks amid allegations some CTAP members have more than doubled or even tripled their haulage rates.
PEZA and CTAP officials met on April 3 after economic zone locators reported several CTAP truckers were adding as much as 120% to their rates.
The authorized CTAP guide rates, approved on March 17, are 50% more than the association’s 2011 rates.
The PEZA-CTAP meeting also followed Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo’s statement that his department was investigating truckers for collusion and anti-competitive practices after they raised guide haulage rates by 50%.
DTI said it will finish its probe within a month for submission to the Department of Justice-Office for Competition.
CTAP clarified the rates enacted on March 17 only served as a guide and members may or may not follow them.
The group insisted there is competition among its ranks because unlike buses, jeepneys and taxis, trucks can negotiate rates and decline shipments.
CTAP president Ruperto Bayocot told PortCalls the current truck turnaround is 72 hours as opposed to the one-day truck trip cycle before the Manila truck ban.
CTAP director Alberto Suansing explained that a truck trip cycle, or the period of engagement with the consignee, starts from the truck entering the port to pick up the cargo, then unloading cargo to the consignee and returning to the port or container yard to offload the empty container.
In a separate letter obtained by PortCalls, CTAP suggested the following to alleviate effects of the truck ban:
- No noon break for all shipping lines
- No noon break for the gatepass issuance and release of port operators
- Additional teller/operation of offices during window hours of truck ban
- Upgrade of all systems to avoid hang-ups and systems failure during window hours
- All container yards should open 24 hours, Monday to Saturday
CTAP asked PEZA to push for rescission of the truck ban policy “to restore old rates”.
Bayocot noted some locators wrote a letter to PEZA that they might “pull out” of the country due to higher logistics costs.
He said CTAP also wrote a letter last week to Manila mayor Joseph Estrada seeking clarification on the window hours provision of the truck ban ordinance due to varying interpretation of traffic enforcers.
Also CTAP sought a 24/7 lane north-bound and vice versa and a portion of the A. Bonifacio St. until Road 10 “to accommodate transshipment cargoes to the Visayas and Mindanao.”
Bayocot added CTAP wants to implement a “return of empty containers by appointment” and had already written a letter to the Association of International Shipping Lines for this intention.
Meanwhile, the Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau on April 1 released a memo to enforcers stating that effective immediately, only trucks carrying empty containers entering Manila within the truck ban window hours (10am to 5pm) are subject to apprehension; trucks with empties exiting the city during the window are not.
There has been much confusion on whether or not trucks carrying empty containers can operate during the truck ban window. –– Roumina M. Pablo
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