The Confederation of Truckers Association of the Philippines (CTAP) is asking the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to once again extend the moratorium on enforcing the maximum allowable gross vehicle weight (MAGVW) for trucks/trailers with codes 12-1 and 12-2. The enforcement is mandated under the Philippines’ Anti-Overloading Law.
The moratorium expired on June 30, 2018, after being extended for six months since January 2018 “to give haulers/truckers more time to acquire additional transport equipment to conform with the latest GVW (gross vehicle weight).”
CTAP in its June 20 letter to DPWH Secretary Mark Villar said that in its latest general membership meeting, majority of its members requested for the extension “due to economic slowdown and spiralling cost of appropriate trailer units suitable to the specification under codes 12-2 and 12-3” prescribed under the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 8794, or the Anti-Overloading Act.
DPWH and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) have continuously extended the moratorium since 2013 on repeated requests from truckers, and are said to usually take some time when issuing the advisory on the moratorium.
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. These truck types are commonly used to deliver container cargoes. Other truck/trailer codes must follow the current MAGVW under the IRR of RA 8794.
Amending weight required
CTAP had earlier suggested a higher MAGVW for trucks with codes 12-2 and 12-3 so that truckers can finally comply with RA 8794, and the government will no longer have to repeatedly extend the moratorium.
CTAP, in a position paper, has asked DPWH to consider amending the MAGVW for code 12-2 from 41,500 kilograms to 53,500 kg, and for code 12-3 from 42,000 kg to 54,000 kg.
The group noted that the proposed increases would be the same weight if the basis of apprehension would still be the 13.5 tons per axle on codes 12-2 and 12-3.
The group pointed out that the current MAGVW for both codes under the revised implementing rules and regulations “failed to consider that the average weight of containers arriving in the Philippines is around 30,000 to 36,000 kg.”
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, CTAP explained.
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.”
It added that even if truckers acquired equipment to comply with the law but the MAGVW for codes 12-2 and 12-3 remains the same, “the problem of overloading will still persist.”
Issue with bridges
CTAP chairman Ruperto Bayocot said, however, that DPWH might deny the truckers’ request to increase the MAGVW for codes 12-2 and 12-3 because the country’s bridges cannot handle the requested bigger weight limit.
Aside from a higher MAGVW, the group has also been proposing the mandatory weighing of cargoes inside port premises, and the honoring or recognizing of the results “in order that overloaded container cargo that exceeds the maximum weight shall not be permitted to exit the port premises.”
CTAP noted that to date, no mandatory weighing of container cargoes is conducted within the ports before the cargoes leave.
The group said that if the MAGVW for codes 12-2 and 12-3 is implemented, 80% of containers coming from the Manila port “could no longer be transported which would put to naught the effort of the government to facilitate a seamless and sustainable mobility of container cargoes at the Port of Manila.”
CTAP said that while truckers want to comply with RA 8794 and do recognize its noble intentions, majority are “not financially ready to purchase new trailer units” due to the economic slowdown and spiralling cost of trucking operations. – Roumina Pablo