The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is amenable to extending once again the moratorium on the enforcement of the anti-overloading policy for trucks categorized under codes 12-2 and 12-3, after the policy expired last June 30.
Public Works Secretary Mark Villar, in a chance interview with PortCalls on July 1, said his department is “still open” to extending the moratorium relating to trucks coded 12-2 and 12-3, the most commonly used types of delivery trucks in the cargo industry.
Code 12-2 trucks are semi-trailers with three axles on the towing trucks and two axles on the trailers; code 12-3 trucks are semi-trailers with three axles on the towing trucks and three axles on the trailer.
The moratorium has been extended nonstop every six months since 2013 on repeated requests from truckers.
Despite the moratorium expiring on June 30, the Confederation of Truckers Association of the Philippines (CTAP) told PortCalls on July 2 that it has not yet received any report of apprehension from member truckers. Usually, DPWH does not apprehend truckers until a new moratorium is signed.
Truck/trailer codes must follow the current maximum allowable gross vehicle weight (MAGVW) under Republic Act (RA) No. 8794 (An Act Imposing a Motor Vehicle User’s Charge on Owners of all Types of Motor Vehicles and for Other Purposes), or Anti-Overloading Act.
Villar said the continuous moratorium extension is to allow DPWH and truckers to “find a more, I guess, balanced solution to the problem,” referring to the request of truckers to increase the MAGVW on trucks with codes 12-2 and 12-3.
He said DPWH is discussing the possible amendment of the revised implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of RA 8794 in order to increase the MAGVW for trucks.
Asked when a decision might be made, Villar said “hopefully we’ll have some answers within the year.”
CTAP, in a letter to Villar dated June 25, reiterated its request for DPWH to permanently suspend the MAGVW for truck codes 12-2 and 12-3.
It said that even if an indefinite period to comply with the prescribed MAGVW under the law’s revised IRR was given to truckers, “there would not be any transport equipment anywhere in the world that will satisfy the gross vehicle weight of 41,500 kilograms for 12-2 and 42,000 kg for 12-3.”
In a position paper submitted to DPWH in 2017, CTAP explained that the average weight of containers arriving in the Philippines is around 30,000 kg to 36,000 kg, which means that if the minimum weight is added to the tare weight of the tractor head and trailer, which averages 15,000 kg, the total weight would be 43,500 kg, which is an automatic violation of the law.
The confederation also noted that to comply with the MAGVW, “we would need a truck and trailer with a tare weight of around 10,000 kg to 11,500 kg, which would be impossible since the average tare weight of such is 15,000 kg for code 12-2 and 16,000 kg for code 12-3.”
CTAP, in its June 25 letter, is again proposing that instead of enforcing the MAGVW, DPWH should use the requirement of 13.5 tons per axle as the sole basis for the weight limit of trucks “as this is already the norm among compliant truckers.”
CTAP noted that using the 13.5 tons per axle basis “will not cripple the economy,” unlike the MAGVW “that will prevent most truckers [from pulling] out containers from the ports because they will be automatically cited for overloading.”
In a meeting called by the Export Development Council-Networking Committee on Transport and Logistics on November 23, 2018, truckers pointed out that apprehensions for overloading were currently being based on two reasons: MAGVW, which is under the revised IRR, and the 13.5 tons per axle requirement, which is stated under the law. Truckers during the meeting said they preferred the basis of 13.5 tons per axle, which is already under the law and which they could comply with.
Under Section 6 (Penalty for Overloading) of RA 8794, “An amount equivalent to twenty five percent (25%) of the MVUC [Motor Vehicle User’s Charge] shall be imposed on trucks and trailers for loading beyond their prescribed gross vehicle weight: provided, That no axle load shall exceed thirteen thousand five hundred kilograms (13,500 kgs).” – Roumina Pablo