MANILA – The Semiconductor and Electronics Industry (SEIPI) is calling on authorities to immediately lift the truck ban implemented in Manila, citing risks of shutdowns and losses if the ban and truckers' strike continue.
"Ultimately given the negative impact on the business sector, it would probably best to elevate the matter to the Office of the President for their immediate intervention," SEIPI said.
Due to the delays, SEIPI said its member companies face the following risks:
- Line shutdown if materials don't arrive on time. This means sending the operators home as there is nothing to work on anyway.
- Higher storage costs because the longer the materials stay in the ports, more charges are incurred.
- Loss of sales because committed delivery dates to clients are not met. One company's production amount per day is around $90,000. If they have no materials to run, this will translate to a huge loss.
“The ordinance on truck ban issued by Manila Mayor Estrada to decongest the streets of Manila during daytime has taken a toll not only on the truck operators but also on multinational companies that rely heavily on a day-to-day shipment and delivery,” SEIPI added.
SEIPI also said that road projects in Metro Manila pose a threat in the daily operations of SEIPI member- companies.
“While these road infrastructure projects would relieve heavy traffic and in the long run benefit the country, inefficient scheduling and planning could worsen road congestions, affecting not only private citizens but businesses too,” the group said.
The Makati Business Club (MBC), meanwhile, stressed the importance of road infrastructure to solve the traffic congestion in Metro Manila.
MBC also called on the government to facilitate the immediate construction of mass transportation and road projects, and to provide the necessary infrastructure and incentives to increase cargo traffic in and economic activity around the ports of Subic and Batangas to decongest the port of Manila.
“MBC maintains its position that promoting national interest must remain paramount in the formulation and implementation of local ordinances. It is our hope that the resolution of this issue will provide the impetus for better coordination between private and public sectors regarding proposed local policies with national implications,” the group said.
Under the ordinance, trucks will only be allowed to travel between 10 in the morning to 3 in the afternoon, and again from 9 in the evening to 5 in the morning.