Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) chief Winston Ginez. File Photo
MANILA – Manila Vice Mayor and city traffic czar Isko Moreno criticized Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) chief Winston Ginez for saying that local government units may be held liable for not honoring a provisional permit to travel given to ''colorum'' trucks.
Speaking to ANC, Moreno said it is the job of LGUs to ensure the safety of their people.
He argued that large trucks should not be allowed to pass through crowded places like the city of Manila, at least during the day, since they pose danger to the people.
''Ako po ay hindi naniniwala sa sinabi ni Chairman Ginez that we will be made liable. With all due respect, I challenge him. In Calalay vs William, wherein iyung mga kalesa ipinagbawal sa Maynila due to traffic nung panahon ng mga ninuno natin. The SC (Supreme Court) upheld it,'' Moreno told ANC's Headstart.
''The welfare of the people is the supreme law. Ginagampanan lang namin ang aming tungkulin."
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and Metro Manila mayors are criticizing the LTFRB over the latter's implementation of a ''no apprehension'' policy for colorum trucks which have yet to secure franchise from the government.
The LTFRB gave these trucks provisional authority to travel while their applications for franchise are being processed, saying about 90% of trucks nationwide are actually colorum.
The board said apprehending these trucks, through the Joint Administrative Order 2014-1 of the LTFRB, Land Transportation Office (LTO), and Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), will greatly affect the delivery of goods.
The JAO imposes a P200,000 fine for first-time offender colorum trucks, while a heftier fine of P1 million awaits colorum buses.
In response to criticisms that the LTFRB memorandum has triggered traffic jams around the metro, Ginez said the LTFRB did not say that the trucks can already violate the ''truck ban'' policy of the MMDA.
He added that the trucks being blamed by the MMDA and Metro Manila mayors for the heavy traffic were already using the roads as colorum way before the LTFRB finally gave them the chance to apply for franchise.
WHY THE NEED FOR FRANCHISE?
Teddy Gervacio, president of the Integrated North Harbor Truckers Association, believes trucks should not be required to acquire franchise.
Gervacio said the service being rendered by trucks is different to the one being given by public utility vehicles such as jeepneys, buses and cabs.
He also dismissed the notion that colorum or green-plated trucks are more prone to accidents. He said even trucks with green plates have insurance.
He warned that limiting the access of trucks to roads will damage the economy since this will affect the smooth flow of goods in and out of the country. He hopes for the government to immediately fix the problem because the peak season is drawing near.
In an earlier interview, Ginez said about 29,000 trucks all over the country have applied for franchise.
Gervacio, however, noted that some of these trucks already have pending applications with the LTFRB that have been languishing in the agency for years.
MANILA PORT CONGESTION
Gervacio said another problem facing the truckers is the limited road space allotted for them in Manila.
The truck ban is still being enforced in Manila's minor roads, but the city government, upon the request of the national government, has allowed truckers to pass through a single lane along Roxas Boulevard.
Gervacio, however, said the dedicated lane for trucks did little to solve the congestion problem in Manila's ports.
He said trucks are stuck on the single lane since those in front of them still have to drop or pick up shipments. Exiting the port is also another problem, he said.
''Iyung palabas na sana ay dapat makalabas agad, eh pipila pa rin sa papasok ng pier,'' he explained.
''What we ask is we be given a second lane, a passing-through lane. Iyung mga may karga na palabas ng Manila, ay huwag ng pumila kasama ng papasok sa pier."
Gervacio said moving port operations from Manila to Batangas might be costly, since most of the deliveries of goods take place in the capital.