Home » 3PL/4PL, Customs & Trade » PH truckers given ultimatum to comply with anti-overloading law by 2019

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said it expects truckers to upgrade their trucks and to finally comply with the anti-overloading law by early next year.

“We are expecting full compliance from Codes 12-2 and 12-3 truck/trailer owners on upgrading their units to have maximum allowable GVW of 41,500 and 42,000 kilograms respectively before January 1, 2019,” DPWH Secretary Mark Villar said in a statement.

Villar reiterated the importance of compliance since accidents and early damage to and deterioration of road pavement are attributed to overloaded vehicles.

His statement comes as DPWH and Department of Transportation in an advisory once again extended the moratorium on implementing Republic Act (R.A.) No. 8794 (An Act Imposing a Motor Vehicle User’s Charge on Owners of all Types of Motor Vehicle and for Other Purposes) on codes 12-2 and 12-3 for six months, or from July 1 to December 31, 2018.

The extension of moratorium is meant to “give haulers/truckers more time to acquire additional transport equipment to conform with the latest GVW (gross vehicle weight).”

Under the law, overloaded trucks will be fined 25% of the amount of their motor vehicle user’s charge applicable to the vehicle at the time of violation.

Although the official advisory was released late, DPWH has been observing the moratorium since July 1.

Originally set to expire on June 30, 2018, the moratorium relating to trucks coded 12-2 and 12-3 has been continuously extended since 2013 on repeated requests from truckers. 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 maximum allowable gross vehicle weight (MAGVW) under R.A. 8794.

CTAP’s call for amendment

The Confederation of Truckers Association of the Philippines (CTAP) had earlier asked for another extension of the moratorium. The group also suggested a higher MAGVW for trucks with codes 12-2 and 12-3 so that truckers could finally comply with R.A. 8794 and the government would no longer have to repeatedly extend the moratorium.

CTAP, in a position paper, 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 remained the same, “the problem of overloading will still persist.”

Aside from a higher MAGVW, the group is also 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 R.A. 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.

CTAP’s suggestions were also recommended during a recent stakeholders’ summit organized by the Bureau of Customs. The customs agency said recommendations during the summit will be discussed in meetings by an interagency body to be formed to handle concerns of port and customs stakeholders. – Roumina Pablo

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