Earlier today tension erupted after Manila policemen tried to tow several trucks parked in protest in front of the Moriones Gate of the Manila North Harbor.
Truck drivers parked in front of the port to protest the Manila truck ban that prohibits the entry of trucks with a weight of 4,500 kg in the city from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. except on Sundays and holidays.
As stated in Manila City Ordinance 8336, trucks are allowed to enter the city from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m which serves as the window hour. However, Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada said the window hour will only last for six months. Violators of the said ordinance will be fined Php 5,000 and their vehicles will be towed.
On the other hand, truck groups said the window hour during the day isn’t enough to accommodate the number of trucks entering and leaving the city’s ports.
Adviser and chairman emeritus of the Confederation of Truckers Association of the Philippines (CTAP), Edgardo Aglipay, said the city’s current ban has made trucks useless.
"Hindi makakapasok ang truck dahil sa maiksi ang window period. Kung hindi mabibigyan ng espasyo, hindi kami makakapag-operate. Gusto man naming mag-byahe, kung hindi kami makapasok, mapupuno ng container ang pier," (Trucks can’t enter the streets of Manila because of the brief window period. If we can’t have enough time, we simply can’t operate and the pier will be full of containers) Aglipay said.
Aglipay added that even if the trucks are still allowed to pass the streets of Manila in the evening, truck operations during the day are more important because most warehouse are open during this time.
“Gusto namin na sumunod, ang problema lang, iyung oras na binigay sa amin, hindi rin kami makakalabas ng city of Manila. Ang mga warehouses hindi rin nagbubukas ng gabi. Ito ay hindi lang problema ng truckers, ito ay problema ng bansa," (We want to abide by the city ordinance, the only problem is we can’t exit the city of Manila at the time that is given to us. Warehouses are not open at night. This is not just the problem of truckers, but of the country as well) he said.