This is an urgent call for action to participants in the supply chain who will be affected by the proposed Daytime Truck Ban.
Over the close to 25 years of its existence, SCMAP has had to face threats and challenges of implementation of different forms of a Metro Manila truck ban. Actually the earliest form of truck ban I can remember in Metro Manila was in the 1970s. This was after the creation of Metro Manila as a geographical unit during the Marcos years. Therefore this truck ban long antedated DMAP which was formed in 1989.
For DMAP itself, its first encounters with the Metro Manila truck ban was during the term of then DOTC chief Oscar Orbos, whom I remember to be a workaholic. I recall that he invited stakeholders to meetings late in the evening, such as at 10:00 pm, to discuss and experiment with different forms of truck ban.
Some of the truck ban variations and proposals encountered by DMAP include:
- Variations in truck ban hours
- Truck ban in the expressways
- 15-hour Metro Manila truck ban
- Odd-even traffic scheme
As far as I can remember the proposed truck ban in expressways wound up being converted to load limits instead. DMAP contributed to this conversion effort.
The odd-even traffic scheme proposed in 1997, was intended to reduce the traffic. Obviously it would succeed in reducing traffic because it would cut down the number of vehicles on the road. However the scheme was misguided because if failed to recognize the objective of logistics, which is to bring goods from one point to another in the supply chain. Again, obviously the objective could not be achieved in truck deliveries within Metro Manila. Predictably there were numerous objections and the proposal was killed on the spot. This was the brainchild of Gen. Fianza when he was assigned to MMDA.
Focusing now on the current situation, MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino proposed last June a Total Daytime Truck Ban which would prohibit trucks on the road from 4 am to 9 pm. Thus this would limit the delivery and transport of goods from the current 17-hour time window to a mere 7-hour window of 9 pm to 4 am.
Such a move will have strong negative effects on the economy. While it may help improve the movement of passengers, the effect on the movement of goods would be on two fronts.
1. Total supply chain cost for various goods will escalate because of additional costs of doing business for manufacturers, distributors, retailers and other business establishments due to nighttime operations, security costs and other needed resources.
2. Delivery of goods and materials will be slowed down, and for some businesses will become very difficult or even impossible due to the 59% reduction in the window for trucking operations
As a consequence, Philippine industry and business will lose points in competitiveness and this will affect our quest for investment grade rating. In addition the added supply chain costs may add to oil price hikes that are fueling inflation. Consumers will bear the brunt of this.
The current window for deliveries is 17 hours (truck ban is 6 to 9 am and 5 to 9 pm). It is proposed to reduce the delivery window to 7 hours (9 pm to 4 am, truck ban 4 am to 9 pm). This is a 59% reduction.
First of all, it is not clear or sure that the current volume of delivery requirements can be handled within the reduced delivery window. Much less the anticipated growth. Second it will cause a large increase in business resources, which will translate to additional cost.
The proposal will drastically change the way businesses work. With this change in business model, outlets and other establishments may have to be open 24 hours.
Other effects will include an increased risk of hijacking, pilferage and other crimes.
For instance, how would supermarkets and restaurants get their deliveries? Most would oppose night logistics as that would translate to overtime and night differential costs; not to mention added security risks. Additional cost would come from lighting and services such as canteen operations.
Warehouse operations will be affected, causing tedious nighttime activities involving inbound and outbound functions, space congestion, operational delays.
The total supply chain effect will carry over to different industries and different links in the supply chains, ports, airports, manufacturers, distributors, retailers.
Trucks are often seen as the culprit on which traffic is blamed. But, in fact, a large part of the blame should go to non-trucks, both private and public vehicles.
SCMAP is calling on all affected parties to join hands with SCMAP. Let us put our heads together and develop ideas and solutions to suggest to Chairman Tolentino. Calling CTAP, INHTA, NCC, EDC, PCCI, PRA, CCAP, PASI, SPIK, PLSA and others. Calling concerned government agencies (DOTC, DTI, PPA, MMDA) to give more attention to goods and cargo movement
The situation is urgent because Chairman Tolentino only granted a 6-month reprieve, from July to January. We all know how fast December will fly by. So the time to act is NOW.
Address inquiries and comments to Ed Sanchez at tel. 671-8670, fax 671-4793, cell 0918-914-1689, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information please go to SCMAP website : www.scmap.org