AFTER slashing the export wharfage fee, the government is set to implement immunity routes for trucks in major cities and nearby provinces to ease the movement of export cargoes.
“With the routes in place, trucks carrying export products will be spared from any apprehensions related to the truck ban but will still be subjected to the Anti-Overloading Law,Ó Philippine Shippers”; Bureau chief Atty. Pedro Vicente Mendoza said.
“The immunity routes will complement the decrease in wharfage fee implemented by the Philippine Ports Authority last week,” he added.
He said the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will roll out the scheme in the next few weeks to further help exporters suffering from a strong peso.
“The immunity routes will bolster the transport of export products to and from ports thereby reducing exporters’ trucking expenses,” he added.
The MMDA is now putting up the necessary signs along the designated immunity routes. It will also conduct talks with trucking operators to guarantee smooth enforcement of the immunity routes.
The routes have yet to be named.
Once implemented, the Government is hoping trucking rates for export products may go down.
Earlier, truckers led by the Confederation of Truckers Association of the Philippines (CTAP) sought immunity from the truck ban along national roads to prevent any delays in the movement of cargoes particularly export shipments.
“In order not to disturb the movement of the country’s export products, national roads should not be included in the implementation of truck bans,” CTAP president Rodolfo De Ocampo said.
“Also, roads leading to the country’s economic corridors should not be included,Ó he added.
“I think it is only fair to give trucks immunity once they are on national highways if the local governments do not want to agree on a synchronized and shorter truck ban,” De Ocampo said.
CTAP said that once immunity routes are adopted, the movement of cargoes, particularly exports, would be faster by 30% to 40%, resulting in lower logistics costs.
Aside from CTAP, other trucking organizations such as the Allied Transport Group and the Alliance of Concerned Truck Owners and Operators have also complained about the truck ban.