MANILA - A group of truckers and brokers on Monday launched its 6-day trucking holiday to protest congestion at the Manila port and the phaseout of their aging units.
Road 10, which is usually crammed with trucks going in and out of the port, saw unusual light traffic at 6 a.m. as the Aduana Business Club Inc.'s protest began.
Set until Nov. 24, the trucking holiday objects to the phaseout of 15-year-old trucks starting January 2019, said Aduana president Mary Zapata.
Only 20 percent of trucks nationwide will remain operational if the policy is not modified, she told radio DZMM.
Authorities, she said, should ban trucks based on their road worthiness and not their age.
Aduana is also protesting the cramped container yards of some shipping lines, which delay the operation of truckers, she said.
Truckers, after delivering shipments to warehouses, are supposed to return empty container vans to the shipping lines. Several firms, however, admitted last week that their container yards are overutilized, she earlier told radio DZMM.
This forces truckers to wait for up to 5 days before they can unload the empty containers, preventing them from returning to the port and picking up a fresh batch of shipments, which results to revenue loss, she said.
She also rejected the accusation that Aduana is committing economic sabotage with its trucking holiday.
"Kaming mga trucker at broker, biktima kami rito. Hindi kami ang gumagawa ng problema," she said.
"Bakit kami yung icha-charge na economic saboteur? Dapat iyung nagbibigay ng problema.
(We, truckers and brokers, are the victims here. We are the ones creating a problem. Why would be charged as economic saboteurs? That tag should go to the ones causing problem.)