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Massive job loss feared due to truck ban

800 Export firms losing $77M daily due to truck ban

Manila, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) warned yesterday that the truck ban in Manila may lead to massive job loss for affected drivers and helpers, while the head of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) revealed that some 800 export companies employing over 200,000 workers are losing $77 million daily since the truck was implemented last Monday.

DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz issued the warning in the wake of the impasse between the city government and truckers who have declared a truck holiday since the implementation of the new ordinance last Monday.

SMOOTH AS SILK – Vehicles travel smoothly along Road 10 in Manila on Feb. 26, 2014, on the third day of the implementation of the expanded truck ban in the city. (Ali Vicoy), Manila bulletin, nationa

SMOOTH AS SILK – Vehicles travel smoothly along Road 10 in Manila on Feb. 26, 2014, on the third day of the implementation of the expanded truck ban in the city. (Ali Vicoy)

Under the new city ordinance, eight-wheel trucks and vehicles with gross weight above 4,500 kilograms are barred from using Manila roads from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m., a total of 16 hours or seven hours longer than the previous ban.

A separate metrowide truck ban is also being imposed by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m, everyday, except Sundays and holidays.

Responding to the new ordinance, truckers have imposed a truck holiday that has already affected several manufacturing companies.

Negative Impact

Baldoz appealed to the City of Manila to consider the possible negative economic impact of its new policy on the truck transportation sector.

“We understand the concern of City Hall authorities and other people on the congestion of our city roads that inconvenience commuters, but we must also be concerned about preserving jobs and incomes,” Baldoz said.

“I don’t know how the Manila city government will implement the ordinance, but I hope they will consider its impact on truck drivers and their helpers,” she added.

PEZA Director General Lilia B. de Lima, meanwhile, told reporters at the sidelines of the “Arangkada Philippines Business Forum” held yesterday at Makati Shangrila Hotel that companies in the Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) area have been complaining about losing some $77 million worth of exports daily since the truck ban was imposed. This is on top of the losses companies incur on the delays in their imports or raw material inputs for their manufacturing operations.

Earlier, the Bureau of Customs reported a significant drop in its revenue collection following the truck holiday imposed by truckers affected by the truck ban.

Bad For Exporters

Calabarzon, which hosts the most number of economic zones in the country, accounts for 80 percent of the entire PEZA exports, which in turn comprise 80 percent of the country’s total exports. Last year’s total merchandize exports reached $53.98 billion.

“We are very worried because if the expanded truck ban continues for another two to three days, this is going to be very bad for our exporting companies,” De Lima stressed.

A prolonged impasse with truckers now staging a strike against the ordinance will lessen the production of manufacturing firms that would eventually affect employment, De Lima said.

With the current situation, De Lima highlighted the need for exporters to look for alternative international ports to ship their products.

Batangas Port Rejected

De Lima has been prodding Calabarzon exporters to ship through the Batangas International Port, even offering a 50-percent discount on its fees until December this year.

However, companies refused to use Batangas because there is only one ship (Maersk) call in a week. Shipping lines also said they don’t want to call on Batangas port as there is not enough volume to fill up its ship and justify such route.

With the truck ban’s impact on truck drivers and helper, Baldoz has already ordered DOLE-National Capital Region (NCR) Director Alex Avila to include truckers and their employers in its industry tripartite council (ITC) to verify these reports.

“I have directed Director Avila to immediately convene the ITC to a meeting in view of the truck ban in the City of Manila, which some quarters fear could result to the displacement of workers in the truck transport sector,” Baldoz said.

Baldoz said that during the consultation, DOLE-NCR will try to find out the number of trucks that traverses Manila’s city streets and the number of truck transport workers who might be affected by the truck ban.

She also said that the ITC will ensure the truck transportation industry will be protected from future ordinances from other local government units.

“The ITC should be able to ensure that any local ordinance to curb vehicular traffic should not in any way result in the loss of jobs and income of transport workers,” Baldoz said.

Baldoz said DOLE may issue a position on the new ordinance after if concludes its consultations.

“DoLE will raise concern if there will be possible income loss,” Baldoz said.

Palace Steps In

With the impasse, Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the Office of the Cabinet Secretary has called on all concerned national agencies to “explore ways to move forward” on the issue.

She said MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino was tasked to coordinate with Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada while Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) General Manager Juan Sta. Ana will coordinate with the truckers’ associations.

“Everyone is looking for ways to find a compromise agreement,” Valte assured.

“For one, we bridge the communication from the local government to the truckers’ associations. It was a total ban in the beginning, now there are window hours,” she said. (With a report from Madel Sabater Namit)

  • Crispin Sison

    The streets of Manila are not getting wider but number of vehicles increases every year. There should be an effective transport system to address traffic congestion in the metropolis as a whole.

  • Ivyemaye

    Jon Effemey

    I am really puzzled by all of this. I am British and spent 30 years of my life in London.
    Truckers, import and export are the life blood of any country. There is a dire need for joined up thinking across all areas of transportation. Why all the money is being spent on a Sky way extension and nothing is spent on the sad little railway line? There should be a way of moving trucks and containers into and out of the man port in Manila 24/7.
    In London there is the M25 that takes trucks from the ports to places like Heathrow and on to the North and West. There is an extensive rail network that takes containers. This is a pattern across most of Europe. There are controls for going in and out of central London. However the large German and East European trucks use the motorways.
    I tend to agree with the truckers here. Favour them, do something about public transport, and regulate the buses. They should have specific central stopping points.
    Victoria Coach station is the one used in London.
    Why are private cars put first? A congestion charge in London restricts their use. Here in Manila they are put first, hence the Sky Way extension This is all the wrong way round.
    The Philippines has a huge economic potential but urban planning is really found wanting. Dedicated routes are needed for tucks, they are the life blood of the economy!

    • aleman

      I agree, it’s possible not to let those trucks into the already heavily congested metro manila roads. They should really make use of the railway system, besides, TUTUBAN is very near the PORT AREA. There should be an area, let’s say in LAGUNA at the south for instance, where they can drop off and pickup those container vans in and out of the PORT.

      It’s just a matter of right planning. I am from Manila, and I definitely felt the significant change in the traffic flow without those trucks. I am only 3kms away from home to work and it used to take me 30mins-1hr when those trucks are on the road, but after the ban, it only took me a maximum of 15mins.

      But, I would say that it would definitely have an impact on the manufacturers for both importers and exporters for they have to make adjustments particularly on their working hours, in receiving and releasing of goods. Also, security on truck hi-jackers is one thing to be considered as well when travelling at night.

      In short, what is happening right now is a result of poor long term planning….

      • Ivyemaye

        Sorry it has taken so long to get back to you. I found this via Al Jazerrah.
        It is infrastructure here in Metro Manila that for a Brit from London seems beyond a joke at times.!
        You talk masses of sense here and know the areas well. Surely it is not beyond the Government being National or Local to start to join up the dots a bit more.

    • Fame+Politics=Money

      More fun in the Philippines, I guess. Where sophisticated morons are seated to govern.

    • Flashy_Harry

      The port of Manila is the equivalent of the old London docks. In the 1960′s they all closed down and Tilbury was built downstream to replace it. Lack of governrment planning here has prevented Subic and Batangas to be developed in the same way, thus choking traffic in downtown Manila in much the same way as it would have done if St Catherines Dock or West India Dock was still operating. Kudos to Estrada for prioritising the people of Manila, but hes missing the opportunities in the bigger picture.

  • akala nyo may maloko pa kayo

    Matalino na mga tao ngayon, di na basta maloloko lang.
    1. Mas malapit ang calabarzon sa batangas.
    2. Mawawalan ng trabaho dahil sa truck holiday protest, di dahil sa truck ban.
    3. Ayaw daw ng shipping lines na dumagdag ng shipping sa batangas dahil kulang ang volume. E lilipat na nga ang volume dyan galing manila. Mag usap nalang ma leader paano i coordinate.
    4. Bakit di nalang gamitin ang window. Makatipid pa sa gas.

    Kung may mawalan man ng exporter dapat kasuhan ng economic sabotage ang mga truckers.

  • Jhun Carlos

    Ung mga planners at critics ng truck ban, please study how the Vietnamese government can implement the same daytime truck ban without the problems being cited: labor, economy, etc. Nagawa at iniimplement yan up to the present ng Vietnamese authorities. Bakit sa atin, di pa sinusubukan ng todo eh iyakan na agad. Pati offices ng gubyerno na siyang dapat na sumuporta eh siya pang nauuna na magreklamo na apektado ang labor at ekonomiya.puro kasi ibig pumapel. Punta kayo sa Vietnam ng malaman nyo kung papaano. Kahiya kayo!

  • julius

    anobayananaman, think if your a businessman located at Manila, your office and warehouse, logistic is located at manila, what will happen? how can you do business, how can you deliver your goods, when your customer is sleeping….. only choice is to move out of Manila…

    • Charles Pamatmat

      Normally you deliver when customers are sleeping…so pag gising nila may supplies ka na…

      • supermanlolo101

        not all businesses operate during regular business hours, especially in the manufacturing industry. broaden your point of view.

    • uk_uk_ak_ak

      Ano ba kasi I-dedeliver mo sa customer mo at kailangan mo pa ng 4500KG capacity na truck. Kung ano man yun, siguro naman hindi oras oras yung pagdeliver mo nun sa Manila.

      • supermanlolo101

        hmmm… malamang hindi lang sila nagdedeliver itlog. wala naman siguro matinong business owner ang maghire ng ganung kalaking truck kung wala talaga sila choice.

    • Anobayananaman

      Sa Office nila misis sa gabi ang delivery ng trucks kasi they are not allowed in all streets. Ok naman business nila. Saka normally, di naman araw-araw may delivery eh. 1 to 2 times a month. so, mayroon nang naka-assign para mag-assist ng deliveries. are problem nila kasi laging delay. ang dahilan ng truckers Matrapik daw sa pier?! isipin mo yun madaling araw na yan ha. tapos nagtahan lang delivery nila. Kung systematic lang ang Custom at hindi lagayan system walang issue. kaso aalma talaga ang mga BUWAYA! Tapos!

  • julius

    no wonder during his presidency bagsak ang economy, mataas ang interest sa bangko, mataas ang inflation… mataas ang corruptions… the worts is madalas pang lasing… kawawa ang Maynila…

    • Anobayananaman

      Mali! mag-research kang mabuti. Ang nagpabaksak ng economy yung mga nagpaalis kay erap. from 45 something yung dollar exchange to almost 60 in one day. during impeachment. kasi naman ayaw nyang paboran yung mga mayayamang ubot ng GAHAMAN sa pera. Ayaw nya mag-dagdag ng IPPs kasi over-supply na nga tayo ng electicity magpapagawa pa ng IPP yung mga BUWAYANG mayayamang families. eh sa atin po ipababayad yung over supply. Sino namang gagong tao ang gustong magbayad ng electricity na di naman ginagamit. Isa pa yung pag-control nya sa pag-taas ng gasolina. daming galit na naman dun lalo na mga investors ng SHELL. at alam na natin kung sino sinong mayayamang pamilya yan. Tapos yung bigasan ni Erap na direct competitor ng mga smugglers. Hindi po bagsak ang economy nating kay erap. Ayaw lang ng mga BUWAYA pasagasaan ang kanilang mga business. I’m not pro-erap pero karamihan sa Fil-Chinese community gusto sya. Esp yung peace and order nya. fight fire with fire.

  • julius

    Erap don’t know the economic consequence of his truck ban, if businessman used the subic and batangas port, they will be charged high trucking fees, so it will be transfer to poor consumers to pay for higher cost of goods, and loss of jobs….

    • Anobayananaman

      Funny since most plants and are located in north or south of Manila. Why loss of jobs? Why not, learn to adopt first? The problem here is, no one from the Truckers and business groups want to adjust and adopt the new law. Now that’s a big problem I see there. If everyone is willing to adopt and adjust, everybodys happy in the long run. Kaso wala eh, gusto ng sariling batas para paburan yung kagahamanan ng iilan. Economic consequence? at first yes, there is a big impact, but if they are willing to adjust then economy can easily recover. Puro panakot, loss of jobs, higher price of good. Kaya nga may window na eh. Tigas lang talaga ng ulo.

  • Anobayananaman

    My wife was happy with the ordinace. Why? Their company always have delayed shipments and the common reason of the Truckers, “Nasiraan po ma’am. kasi matraffic yung kalsada.”. How awkward isn’t it! note that their office is only in Nagtahan, Manila.

  • Anobayananaman

    Now we all know why our country is not moving forward. Stupid EPAL politicians intervene with a city ordinace that is meant to put an end to ever lasting traffic in the metro. I admire Mayor Erap due to his strong will to impose a law to benefit the masses. Truckers really don’t care whether they already causing chaos and traffic. Its the hundreds of thousands that thay earn on every trip they make that is most important to them. Metro Manila before this Truck ban was a total chaos. Trucks lies and parks everywhere even of bridges where they cause to much traffic during rush hours. they should be thankful that the ordinance gave them window hour to use the road and not all allow them to travel during rush hours where lots of people are going to their respective offices and schools. The problem I can see here is port authority officials are too lazy to adjust their schedule of loading and unloading cargo and the hard-headed greedy truckers does not want to adjust also. I still see some trucks follow the ordinance and they can travel freely with less traffic on window hours and night hours. talking about lot of gasoline savings. If we can just allow this ordinance to continue, everybody will be happy and productive in the long run. Bottomline here, we need sacrifices for our Nation to move forward and lessen the greed.

  • >#@*$&(@

    loss is incurred due to the truck holiday not the truck ban…the truck holiday is a form of protest…no one knows at this time the impact (cost, etc.) of the reduced truck travel window…focus on the issue…