MANILA -- Manila Vice-Mayor Isko Moreno on Tuesday denied that the city government did not hold talks with truckers' groups regarding the daytime truck ban being implemented in the city.
"Huwag nila sasabihin na hindi sila kinausap. Nag-truck summit pa nga eh, gumastos pa si Mayor Erap. Numero uno silang sinungaling eh, gusto nilang palabasin na hindi sila kinausap," an irked Moreno said on dzMM.
According to Moreno, talks about the truck ban were initiated by the city government as early as four months ago.
He said they conducted talks, meeting, and dialogues with truckers’ groups, the Philippine Ports Authority, port operators, the Department of Public Works and Highways, and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).
"Sila lahat, alam po nila ang nangyayari sa Maynila. Nagkaroon ng public hearing. Bago na-draft ang batas, nagkaroon ng meeting sa Diamond Hotel at kinausap sila," Moreno said.
He said many trucks were found still violating the ban, as of Tuesday. Upon talking to the drivers, their excuse was "they were not informed," Moreno said.
"Minsan parang sinasadya na lang nila eh," he said.
The City of Manila implemented a truck ban starting Monday, with Mayor Joseph Estrada agreeing to lengthen the window from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. upon the truckers' group's request.
"Kaya lang, madamot sila eh. Dalawang oras lang ang hinihingi ng Maynila sa kanila sa perwisyong binigay sila for 20 years (during the time) na walang nag-attend sa problema ng traffic,” Moreno said. “Nakasanayan na kasi nila. Let’s follow first, and then tingnan natin kung ano pwede pag-usapan."
Moreno said that big companies like Coca-Cola, Unilever, and San Miguel supported the ordinance.
"Bakit naman itong malalaking kompanya na ito, nakiisa at susubukan and schedule? Kasi nga, sila din ay biktima ng buhol-buhol na trapik sa Maynila," he said.
"Ang pakiusap lang natin sa truckers, huwag paparada sa kalye, at bigyan tayo ng dalawang oras. Wala tayong tinanggalan ng hanapbuhay. Iniba lang natin ang gamit ng kalye, inusog para hindi sabay-sabay," he said.