Defer fines for traffic violations, gov't urged

By Louella Desiderio, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jun 23 2014 08:47 AM | Updated as of Jun 23 2014 04:47 PM

MANILA - The government was asked to defer higher fines and penalties for violations of land transportation rules.

In a statement released on Saturday, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) president Alfredo Yao said these could affect the supply of goods.

“We have not yet recovered from losses caused by delivery delays, disruptions in our business and additional costs that resulted from the port congestion,” he said.

Yao said the government needs more time to deal with the issue before the full implementation of Joint Administrative Order No. 2014-01 of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

“Otherwise, we are afraid that there will be no more goods to sell in the markets if trucks and similar vehicles to move goods are prevented from doing so at this time,” he said.

The PCCI is not against the intent to better ensure road discipline and safety for the public, but that the timing of its implementation is misplaced, he added.

Yao said the move is seen to lead to a shortage of trucks, aggravating the ill effects of port congestion in Manila, in addition to the daytime truck ban.

The congestion has led to higher truck rates, a container pileup at ports in Manila, and delays in shipment deliveries.

Yao said transport stakeholders project the situation at the ports could still take months to normalize.

“We hope that government grants our request to defer the implementation,” he said.

“This problem of truck shortage will especially be acute for perishable commodities for consumption or as raw materials in production.”

The PCCI is asking the LTFRB to speed up the processing of franchises, as well as ensure that only legitimate operators’ applications are approved.

It is the country’s biggest business organization with a nationwide network of 110 chapters, 137 industry sectors, 37 business councils and 1,500 direct corporate members.

Issued early this month, the order imposes penalties ranging from higher fines to revocation of the registration of the apprehended vehicle and all other authorized units included in the franchise.

Violating bus operators will be fined P1 million; truck and van operators, P200,000; sedan operators, P120,000; jeepney owners, P50,000; and motorcycle operators, P6,000.

The stiffer fines are expected to solve the operation or unauthorized public utility vehicles.