The Confederation of Truckers Association of the Philippines (CTAP) is asking the Navotas City government to suspend the implementation of its limited truck ban to avoid impeding cargo movements to and from the Manila ports.
CTAP, in a letter to Navotas City mayor Tobias Tiangco dated December 27, is requesting the suspension of the limited truck ban; “otherwise CTAP member truck operators will be forced not to accept trips servicing the area of the City of Navotas due to the unbearable traffic situation and turn-around delay by the implementation of truck ban.”
CTAP, like other port stakeholder groups, is also asking for a consultation with stakeholders “to formulate a guideline regarding the traffic scheme to be implemented in the roads covered by the limited truck ban.”
Tiangco signed on November 28 Executive Order (EO) No. TMT-029 series of 2019, which implements from January 1, 2020 a limited truck ban along C-3 Road, Road 10 (R-10), and North Bay Boulevard from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The truck ban aims to lessen the expected heavy traffic stemming from the construction of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) Harbor Link Segment 10 from C-3 to R-10 and the Department of Public Works and Highways’ Reinforced Concrete Box Culvert on North Bay Boulevard.
CTAP said it supports the local government unit’s (LGU) crusade to find “a novel solution to the perennial traffic problem within its territorial jurisdiction.”
CTAP, however, noted that “unfortunately, beyond all plausible reasons, implementing truck ban along the major thoroughfare in the City of Navotas is not the solution to the problem but [adds] more injury to our struggling national economy.”
The group pointed out that the covered roads in Navotas City are strategic gateways to and from Manila ports and Northern Luzon, and that implementing the truck ban “would thwart not only the effort of the national government to promote the sustainable mobility of container cargoes for the betterment of our national economy but will also paralyze the operation of various company and container yard operations within the territorial jurisdiction of the City of Navotas.”
CTAP noted how other truck bans implemented by other LGUs had “resulted to transport gridlock” which had also affected the country’s economic activity. In 2014, the Manila city government had enforced a truck ban that congested Manila ports and impaired the supply chain for almost a year.
The group added that the roads covered by the ban have multiple lanes, with trucks occupying only one lane; “hence the eventual contribution to the traffic problem by trucks of the aforesaid major roads is only minimal.” CTAP added that the number of trips per week by its members has actually declined to two trips due to traffic gridlock.
Moreover, CTAP said that private cars have “sufficient and adequate alternative routes as compared to TH [trucks for hire]” and that public utility vehicles such as taxis, jeepneys, and buses can utilize secondary roads to alleviate traffic gridlock.
CTAP also pointed out that entry and exit of trucks to and from Manila’s international terminals is controlled through the Terminal Appointment Booking System (TABS) and that a truck ban would run counter to and effectively defeat the purpose and operation of the system.
Other port stakeholder groups have also submitted their letters requesting the suspension of the limited truck ban. – Roumina Pablo