Manila truck ban may also affect foreign investments

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 26 2014 02:59 PM | Updated as of Feb 27 2014 07:18 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Manila's daytime truck ban will hurt not just local businesses, but may also affect foreign investments in the country.

Federation of Philippine Industries chairman Jesus Arranza said the group is asking the City of Manila to lift the daytime truck ban, since it will cripple manufacturing and commercial operations.

"It will cripple business and the economy particularly considering the strategic location of the City of Manila relative to the Port of Manila as well as the manufacturing and commercial operations," Arranza said in FPI's letter to the Manila city government dated February 19.

Under Manila's ordinance, eight-wheel trucks with a gross weight of above 4,500 kilograms will only be allowed on city streets from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. every day except on Saturdays and Sundays, with a window period of five hours, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The truck ban took effect on Monday (February 24).

Arranza said night deliveries would mean additional costs and more risks, such as robberies and hijacking.

"Night delivery will entail added costs, as various businesses that usually operate only during daytime will now be constrained to operate in the evening to prepare and receive deliveries. This will certainly affect the competitiveness of the local manufacturing industries that are struggling just to survive during these trying times. Moreover, night deliveries also come with increased cases of theft, pilferage, and hijacking as experience has shown," Arranza said.

Meanwhile, the Japanese Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines warns the truck ban could prompt potential foreign investors to downgrade plants and investments in the Philippines in favor of other countries.

Nobuo Fujii, vice president and executive director of JCCIP, said businesses are very "annoyed" at truck ban. He noted this has affected production, which will affect jobs "gradually".

However, Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada is standing firm on the truck ban, saying any losses should be blamed on the Philippine Ports Authority. - With report from Coco Alcuaz, ANC