The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has created a technical working group (TWG) to discuss how to implement the department order that effectively puts a 15-year age cap on trucks-for-hire, with the group’s report likely to be out in “a few weeks.”
The TWG was the outcome of a recent meeting between the transport department and Confederation of Truckers Association of the Philippines (CTAP).
“The truckers were very much aware and they understand the need for such regulation and therefore the need to implement it industry-wide,” DOTr Undersecretary for Road Transportation Thomas Orbos told PortCalls in a recent chance interview.
Orbos was referring to Department Order (DO) No. 2017-09, which was signed last April by Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade to reinforce DO 2002-030, the order that places a mandatory age limit on buses- and trucks-for-hire covered by a certificate of public convenience (CPC).
Under DO 2017-09, the DOTr reiterates DO 2002-030 and “strengthens the policy on the mandatory fifteen (15) year age limit of public utility buses (PUB) units or Trucks for Hire (TFH) which are covered by Certificate of Convenience (CPC) by requiring the submission of Certificate of Date of Manufacture from the original manufacturer such as Sales Invoice, or other competent documents to prove the age of motor vehicle.”
According to DO 2002-030, “no unit shall be the subject of a new application for franchise, for extension of validity of Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC), for substitution of unit, and for increase of number of units, if said unit is more than the minimum age requirement as specified below by the time of expiration of the covering CPC.”
The policy has become a major concern for industry stakeholders, who said they were caught by surprise because no prior consultation or notice was given.
Orbos said the TWG’s objective is to implement the order in such a way “so as not to disturb the (trucking) industry and will not be the cause of a problem for commerce,” as he acknowledged that truckers play a “very important role” in trade.
Asked if a compromise was agreed on during the meeting, Orbos said that it was “not so much compromise but looking at other things wherein (truckers) would need our help such as financing and even looking at a review (of) TABS (Terminal Appointment Booking System).”
TABS is an online-booking platform implemented in Manila’s two international terminals.
Orbos said a decision by the TWG “should not take so long” and might be out in “a few weeks,” since the government and truckers have already agreed to move forward.
CTAP, in a position paper on DP 2017-09 submitted to DOTr, said about 80% of cargo trucks used to transport various types of goods and commodities are refurbished second-hand units aged 15 years old and above.
CTAP and other trucking organizations have reiterated that roadworthiness, not age, should form the basis for registration and issuance of CPC. Truckers earlier noted that new trucks can still cause accidents if not well-maintained or if driven by reckless drivers.
If the government is serious about phasing out old trucks, CTAP said “then it must create the proper plans and programs in assisting the (truck) owners for (trucks’) proper disposition or suitable utilization thereof.”
CTAP also hopes for financial assistance or loans, through government financial institutions, to enable truckers to acquire new units.
The confederation is likewise asking the government to allow three- to five-year duty-free importation of brand-new trucks by selected accredited importers “in order to deter the incredibly expensive cost of brand new trucks in the Philippine market.” – Roumina Pablo
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