Navotas gov’t rejects industry petitions to suspend truck ban

Navotas City’s implementation of the limited truck ban is pushing through despite calls for suspension of the policy by port stakeholders fearing flow of goods will be restricted.

Navotas City mayor Tobias Tiangco, in separate letters to stakeholders dated December 26, 2019, said the city government has duly noted the groups’ concerns but regrets that it is “unable to accommodate” their proposals at this time.

Different port stakeholders including the Alliance of Concerned Truck Owners and Organizations (ACTOO), Association of International Shipping Lines (AISL), Confederation of Truckers Association of the Philippines (CTAP), and Container Depot Alliance of the Philippines (CDAP) have asked for the suspension of Executive Order (EO) No. TMT-029 series of 2019.

The Philippine Liner Shipping Association (PLSA), on the other hand, has requested for a traffic rerouting plan with a designated 24-hour single lane for trucks.

The EO implements from January 1, 2020 a limited truck ban along C-3 Road, Road 10 (R-10), and North Bay Boulevard from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The truck ban aims to lessen the expected heavy traffic stemming from the construction of the Northern Luzon Expressway (NLEX) Harbor Link Segment 10 from C-3 Road to Road 10 and the Department of Public Works and Highways’ Reinforced Concrete Box Culvert on North Bay Boulevard.

Stakeholders, however, said the policy will significantly constrict the flow of trade and cause a repeat of the 2014 port congestion as the three covered roads are “highly critical arteries in the delivery of goods in Luzon…”

Tiangco said that in issuing the EO, the city government “acted within the ambit of the general welfare clause under Republic Act No. 7160 [Local Government Code of the Philippines]…”

He added that the order is “not meant to cause economic disruption, but to protect the general welfare of our citizens.”

Tiangco said that while the limited truck ban “may seem to impede the flow of trade to some stakeholders passing through C-3, R-10 and North Bay Boulevard, it gives meaning to our 1987 Constitutional provision that states that the use of property bears a social function and all economic agents shall contribute to the common good.”

He also pointed out that had NLEX Corp., the concessionaire of the Harbor Link project, been able to complete the project, “there [would be] no need to impose the limited truck ban.”

AISL general manager Atty. Maximino Cruz, in a recent text message to PortCalls, said his organization will closely coordinate with trucking groups and reach out to concerned government agencies “for possible intercession noting the economic and commercial implications of the Navotas E.O.”

AISL, in its letter to Tiangco, said implementing the ban, albeit for a limited period, “will significantly constrict the flow of trade and deflate the economic momentum gained in the past months.”

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