Bus drivers, conductors, inspectors, and other employees of bus companies may soon be joined by truck drivers, truck helpers known as ‘pahinante’, and their employers as soon as the DOLE-National Capital Region effects the directive of Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz to DOLE-NCR Director Alex Avila to expand the composition and coverage of the Bus Transport Industry Tripartite Council.

“Yesterday, I have instructed Regional Director Avila to expand the coverage of the Bus Transport ITC to include trucks, and thus, increase the composition of its members to include representatives of truck drivers, truck helpers, and their employers. This is to ensure that they have a voice in all the meetings and deliberations of the ITC on matters related to transport,” Baldoz said, adding:

“I have also directed Director Avila to immediately convene the ITC to a meeting in view of the truck ban in the City of Manila, which some quarters fear could result to the displacement of workers in the truck transport sector.”

Baldoz said the ITC should be able to ensure that any local ordinance to curb vehicular traffic should not in any way result to the loss of jobs and income of transport workers. It should also be able to come up with relevant data, such as the number of truck companies and number of trucks that traverses Manila’s city streets and the number of truck transport workers who might be affected by the truck ban.

“We understand the concern of City Hall authorities and other people on the congestion of our city roads that inconvenience commuters, but we must also be concerned about preserving jobs and incomes,” said Baldoz.

According to Baldoz, social dialogue, which the DOLE promotes through the ITCs to  foster harmonious labor-management relations, can also be used to tackle non-labor relations issues, such as coming up with schemes to manage and decongest traffic to protect commuters, but without prejudice to the interest of workers.

“We have done this in the bus transport sector. We can do it in the truck transport sector,” she said.

The City Council of Manila had amended Ordinance No. 8092, otherwise known as the “Traffic Management Code of Manila”, and came out with Ordinance No. 8336 which regulates the use of city streets by designating truck routes within the city.

The ordinance provides that “cargo trucks, gravel and sand trucks, cement mixers, and other heavy-cargo trucks with eight (8) wheels and up, or whose gross vehicle weights exceed 4,500 kgs., including tractor trailers or containerized haulers, shall only be allowed to travel on any city streets with two or more lanes, specified as truck routes . . .”

The (additional) southern truck routes are Port Area to Roxas Boulevard (two lanes) to destination and vice versa; and Port Area to Road 10 to Roxas Boulevard (two lanes) to destination and vice versa. The northern truck routes are Port Area to North Diversion Road; Pier Zone traveling along Road 10 to destination; North Diversion Road to Port Area; and A. Bonifacio Street to right C-3 to left Road 10 to Pier Zone.

A fine of P5,000 will be imposed to violators of the ordinance, or their trucks will be impounded.

END

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