Home » Customs & Trade » Trading community worries over tight truck supply

A STRIKE by members of the Confederation of Truckers Association of the Philippines (CTAP) and the Alliance of Concerned Truck Owners and Operators (ACTOO) has caused some pain to the trading community.

Since last Thursday, members of ACTOO, which own 2,000 truck units, and CTAP (3,000 units) refused to ply their routes in protest of what they claim as “arbitrary” apprehensions by the Presidential Anti-Smuggling Group (PASG).

ACTOO and CTAP members transport containers to and from the country’s top international gateways, the Manila International Container Terminal and South Harbor.

Importers and exporters surveyed by PortCalls claimed experiencing a tightening of truck supply, with some complaining of incurring additional cost due to non-delivery of goods.

Among importers seeking immediate resolution of the PASG and truckers’ row are Coca-Cola, Samsung Electronics, and ST Micro.

Some importers have asked their freight forwarders to design contingency plans to mitigate effects of the strike, especially if the action drags.

Both ACTOO and CTAP said they are determined to refuse delivery of cargoes unless government puts a stop to arbitrary apprehensions or relieves PASG chief Antonio Villa from his post.

“We will continue to slow down, if not cripple, the movement of goods in the country until government finds time to act on our demand,” a CTAP official who refused to be identified told PortCalls.

As of this writing, there are no moves by PASG and Bureau of Customs to talk to the protesters. PASG has, however, met with members of the Chamber of Customs Brokers, Inc — the accredited professional organization for customs brokers — to strike a win-win solution with brokers and importers.

Prior to the strike, the Port Users Confederation (PUC) asked the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry to intercede in a meeting between PASG and PUC to discuss how cost and delays can be reduced once a truck is flagged down by PASG agents for a random check.

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