THE government was recently urged to strictly enforce provisions of Republic Act 8794 on the maximum permissible single-axle load limit to make roads safer for transport.The law, otherwise known as the Act Imposing a Motor Vehicle User’s Charge on Owners of All Types of Motor Vehicles, specifies the required load capacity of trucks on certain roads to avoid over loading.
Enacted five years ago, RA 8794 has yet to be fully complied with because of alleged inadequate government resources and a strong lobby by some truckers seeking higher load limits. This petition is being waged even if the Philippines has the most liberal load limit of 3.5 tons per axle. Thailand and the United States have load limits of 9.1 tons per axle; the European Union, 11.5 tons per axle; and Denmark, ten tons.
Concerned groups are claiming overloaded trucks are responsible for the "faster than normal" wear and tear of roads, translating to heavier costs in maintenance and repair.Data from the National Center of Transportation Studies reveal an average 970,000 road accidents occur yearly. Of this number, about 120,000 were caused by overloading (trucks).
Overloaded trucks have often been referred to as "killer monsters on the loose."Early this year, the Confederation of Truckers Association of the Philippines (CTAP) said the law was an impediment to its proposed rate increase of 20%. It cannot finalize the new rate matrix until the final load limit is identified.
"The new rates (for trucks) will be adjusted based on the weight limit, which will be imposedÉ the truckers have to ensure that the rate adjustment will compensate for the weight that they are no longer allowed to carry, resulting in lesser yields," CTAP said.