Philippine truckers must now fully conform to the revised implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Republic Act (RA) No. 8794 or the anti-overloading law since the moratorium on certain provisions of the law expired on July 31.
The moratorium – which specifically covered the gross vehicle weight (GVW) requirement for vehicles with truck codes 12-2 and 12-3, the most commonly used type of trucks in the Philippines — has yet to be extended as of Aug 4.
Approval of any further suspension may take a little time as the order has to be signed by the secretaries of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and Department of Transportation and Communications, according to PortCalls sources.
The provision on the GVW has been repeatedly suspended, beginning in 2013, to give operators time to purchase appropriate trucks that would conform to the law’s truck load weight restrictions.
Alberto Suansing, Confederation of Truckers Association of the Philippines (CTAP) director, said Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson assured him on July 30 that the moratorium will be extended for another year.
The DPWH’s Bureau of Design usually prepares the advisory on the moratorium extension a month before its expiration. This time around, there was reportedly no order from the DPWH chief for such an extension.
CTAP earlier said that more than 50% of truck units nationwide belong to codes 12-2 and 12-3, and the only way for truckers to comply with the directive is if the allowable GVW for these codes is upgraded to 54,000 kilograms from 41,000 kilograms as specified in the revised IRR.
Teodorico Gervacio, president of Inland Haulers and Truckers Association, formerly the Integrated North Harbor Truckers Association, agreed that increasing the GVW is the only solution for truckers to comply with the law.
Code 12-2 trucks are semi-trailers with three axles on the towing trucks and two axles on the trailer, for a total of 18 wheels, while trucks with the 12-3 configuration are semi-trailers with three axles on the towing vehicle and three axles on the trailer, for a total of 22 wheels.
Under the revised IRR of R.A. 8794, trucks and trailers with these codes having loads exceeding the prescribed GVW of 41,500 kilograms and 42,000 kilograms, respectively, and load per axle of 13,500 kilograms are considered as overloaded and prohibited from travelling on any Philippine road.
An amount equivalent to 25% of the motor vehicles user’s charge in the motor vehicle registration filed with the Land Transportation Office will be imposed on overloaded trucks.
Secretary Singson has said that road assets get severely damaged from overloading. Some of the country’s bridges, such as Del Pan used by trucks going to and from Manila ports, are not designed to carry dead load or vehicles waiting idle on the structure, an often common occurrence on the bridge. – Roumina Pablo
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