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German firms press lifting of Manila's truck ban
Publication Date : 13-03-2014
German firms operating in the country have joined repeated calls for Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada to lift the truck ban in key routes in the city, stressing that this “regretful” policy would only cripple the country’s booming economy.
The German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GPCCI) explained in a statement that while the truck ban could provide immediate relief to motorists and residents, it would eventually result in job losses not only to truck drivers but to employees of companies adversely affected by the ban.
GPCCI general manager Nadine Fund quoted a member-firm of the group as saying that the truck ban would only “impact negatively for the commerce and industry of Metro Manila, nearby cities, provinces and the country as a whole due to the regulated movement of goods and services.”
The truck ban policy, which was implemented starting last month, has reportedly been causing delays in deliveries, resulting in losses to manufacturers and retailers. Delivery of goods intended for the international market has likewise been delayed, thus affecting the country’s export revenues.
The new policy in Manila bans eight wheelers and vehicles with a gross weight of above 4,500 kilos from plying Manila’s streets between 5am and 9pm. A temporary concession was offered by the city government allowing trucks to ply streets between 10am and 3pm during the next six to eight months.
GPCCI further warned that such a scenario could lead companies to slow down as a result of lost hours in delivery time as well as unmet business commitments and activities, eventually leading to a shutdown of their shops and job losses.
Fund added that security costs would also increase with additional safety measures required to secure delivery and checking for possible pilferage.
Majority of the German investments are in trading, air and sea freight, cargo forwarding, pharmaceuticals, automotive, engineering and manufacturing equipment as well as textiles and clothing, thus making German firms one of the groups most affected by the truck ban.
“The city government should conduct a thorough study on how to ease the traffic in the city without disrupting businesses,” she pointed out.
Fund said they had written letters of appeal to the city government to reconsider the truck ban and to put forward proposals to help ease the traffic situation without causing much injury to local businesses.
One of the short-term solutions, according to GPCCI, would be the removal of illegally parked vehicles along major routes of delivery trucks and implementing efficient rules on parking.