In a phone conversation with PortCalls, Confederation of Truckers Association of the Philippines (CTAP) president Ruperto Bayocot said his group will not stage a holiday but, instead, hike rates due to the “longer waiting time.”
The rates will be at the discretion of individual CTAP members, Bayocot said, although he told members who sought his advise that the new rates should be not less than 50% the current ones.
If the situation keeps up, Bayocot said the industry will die a “natural death” because most apprehended drivers are not able to pay the P5,000 penalty to retrieve their licenses. He said time will come when there are no drivers left on the roads.
Bayocot said five of his own trucks have been apprehended since the ban started.
CTAP director Alberto Suansing, former chairman of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, in a radio interview on Tuesday confirmed that truckers’ groups are talking about levying a road congestion surcharge to defray additional costs.
Meanwhile, Integrated North Harbor Trucking Association (INHTA) president Teodorico Gervacio, in a text message to PortCalls, said his group is still determining the new rates but they will be higher by a 100% or more.
Dominador de Guzman, director of the Port Users Confederation and president of SkyLand Brokerage Inc., said his clients — 90% of whom are from Manila and its suburbs — have already felt the adverse effects of the ban.
“They were not able to meet their quota, (they) cannot serve their local clients and cannot meet production,” De Guzman said.
Philippine Span Asia Carrier Corp. president and chief operating officer, Jordan Go told PortCalls in a text message they are “presently assessing the impact of the ban”, adding that port operations have been affected as truckers are part of the supply chain.
He confirmed there were some vessels that left the domestic port with less containers than usual. “We had no choice (but to leave without the boxes) as the departures would have been delayed further,” Go said.
Need for sound economic policies
Supply Chain Management Association of the Philippines (SCMAP) president Arnel Gamboa, in a text message to PortCalls, said the effects of the ban underscore the need for sound economic policies.
“It all boils down to sound economic policies and its impact,” Gamboa said.
“While the city government may be fighting for better flow of traffic in the streets and may take this as a sign of progress, one has to look at the bigger picture. If goods don’t move then there would be little commerce, leading to weak consumption, which eventually can cause jobs to be lost,” he said.
“The plan to add surcharge in lieu of the trip productivity of prime movers will only worsen the landed cost of goods.”
Gamboa said during the three-day truck holiday late last month, shipments to the Visayas and Mindanao were also affected, although the biggest impact was felt in Manila.
There was also revenue cost to various industries such as services, manufacturing, and retail, apart from the logistics sector, he added.
Gamboa said SCMAP members are still catching up with the backlog.
“I think we’re still trailing by as much as two days of backlog. The number of delivery trucks is not enough. Effectively, we may need to augment our existing fleet by 55-60%,” Gamboa replied when asked how many more trucks are needed to ease the backlog.
Meanwhile, Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) port district manager Constante Fariñas told PortCalls in a text message that “most cargoes (containerized/non-containerized/general cargo) were withdrawn last Thursday, Friday and Saturday” and the cargo volumes at the ports are back to “regular level.”
Fariñas said “every terminal is operating at regular 70% yard capacity” and there’s no backlog.––Roumina M. Pablo
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