Manila truck ban continues to divide opinion

Manila: The daytime truck ban in Manila has been suspended from today through to May 20 as the country gears up to host the World Economic Forum (WEF).

The plan is to move the huge backlog of containers piling up at the port of Manila.

Under the ban, eight-wheeler trucks with a gross weight of more than 4,500 kg are not allowed in Manila’s streets from 5 to 10 a.m. and 5 to 9 p.m.

Some are hoping that the temporary reprieve of the ban will become more permanent.

Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) president Gregorio Navarro told local media: “Our ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) neighbours are already releasing and clearing goods much faster than the Philippines even before the truck ban and we have to do something soon.”

Confederation of Truckers Association of the Philippines director Alberto Suansing said the truck ban has resulted in additional trucking costs because of longer periods of engagement and additional port storage charges. He also said shipping lines would soon likely implement a port congestion charge.

In a research note released in March, Citi’s estimates showed that the implementation of the truck ban could translate to P61.2bn to P320bn worth of losses to the economy per year, far exceeding the potential benefits of P30bn in real terms derived from reduced traffic in Manila.  [13/05/14]

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