Monday, October 25, 2021
Home3PL/4PLTruckers insist vehicle roadworthiness, not age, as basis for franchise

Truckers insist vehicle roadworthiness, not age, as basis for franchise

  • Truckers reiterated calls to consider vehicle roadworthiness, not age, as the basis for granting franchise to trucks for hire
  • The Alliance of Concerned Truck Owners & Organizations (ACTOO) and Confederation of Truckers Association of the Philippines (CTAP) push for speedy establishment and implementation of the motor vehicle inspection system for heavy vehicles, including trucks
  • Some CTAP member truckers with units more than 15 years old are reportedly no longer able to renew their certificate of public convenience
  • CTAP said truck owners with old vehicles, which account for 57% of total truck fleet, will find it difficult to re-fleet as they have yet to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic
  • The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board will discuss the truckers’ requests in its next board meeting

Truckers have reiterated calls to consider roadworthiness, not truck age, as the basis for granting franchise to trucks for hire (TH), noting that implementing the 15-year-old truck age policy this year will lead to franchise non-renewal for some trucks.

The Alliance of Concerned Truck Owners & Organizations (ACTOO) and Confederation of Truckers Association of the Philippines (CTAP) are also pushing for speedy establishment and implementation of the motor vehicle inspection system (MVIS) for heavy vehicles, including trucks.

CTAP, in a statement, reiterated its position that “issuances of franchise [should] be based on roadworthiness of vehicle irrespective of number of years” during a meeting last March 19 between the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and truckers.

This comes after the moratorium on the implementation of the 15-year-old truck age policy under LTFRB Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 2018-007 lapsed in June 2020; the moratorium was later extended until December 29, 2020 through MC 2020-032.

MC 2018-007 was issued in conformity with Department of Transportation (DOTr) Department Order (DO) No. 2017-09, which was signed in 2017 and reinforces DO 2002-030 on the mandatory age limit for buses-for-hire and THs covered by the Certificate of Public Convenience or CPC. The order calls for replacing old public utility vehicles (PUVs) such as THs to modernize the country’s fleet and prevent accidents and untoward incidents brought about by the failing condition of old PUVs.

MC 2018-007, however, also states that once MVIS Centers have been established, the roadworthiness certificate will become the basis for a PUV’s roadworthiness. LTFRB chairman Martine Delgra III, in a 2018 forum with truckers, said this means roadworthiness will become the basis for granting CPC to PUVs such as trucks.

CTAP president Pepito Dino, in a text message to PortCalls, said they already have member truckers with units of more than 15 years old who were no longer able to renew their CPC this year due to the expiration of the moratorium.

Dino said according to LTFRB records, about 43% of truck owners are already compliant with the truck age requirement.

He noted, however, that the bigger 57% will find it difficult to re-fleet soon as they have yet to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dino said they were told during the March 19 meeting that their request to have the moratorium imposed until such time that the MVIS for trucks is implemented will be decided in the next LTFRB Board meeting.

DOTr in 2019 said it hoped to start in 2020 giving privately operated Motor Vehicle Inspection Centers (MVICs) the authority to determine if trucks were roadworthy regardless of age; the plan has not yet materialized.

READ: DOTr looking to accredit private MVICs by 2020

CTAP said it supports the MVIS as it “will institutionalize a technology-driven vehicle inspection service to determine the roadworthiness of TH trucks in the proper issuance of franchise.”

A report issued last January 2021 by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and Philippine Competition Commission titled “Competition Assessment Reviews: Logistics Sector in the Philippines” recommends “the introduction of roadworthiness standards as soon as possible” rather than “implementing the ban on vehicles which are more than 15 years old.”

READ: OECD proposes changes to boost PH logistics sector

The report said the age limit for trucks “could potentially affect smaller competitors unable to invest in fleet renewal.”

ACTOO vice president Rina Papa earlier told PortCalls that ultimately, the public would bear the brunt of the impact of the 15-year old truck age limit once trucks carrying cargoes diminish, leading to delays and higher transport costs. – Roumina Pablo

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