Truckers losing millions

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- Governor Nestor Fongwan is asking Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada to exempt Benguet vegetable trucks in the imposed ban, in a bid to save to save millions for the highland vegetable industry.

Fongwan said an exemption from the truck ban is due to the Benguet truckers who ply perishable goods to Manila markets and bagsakan centers.

"Millions are lost due to the truck ban, they (truckers) cannot deliver the goods on time and they lose their buyers," added the governor.


Fongwan said security for trucks, which ply the rerouted areas also poses a problem now as the vehicles are subjected to thieves and uninformed policemen who do not let them pass.

Reports reveal on February 12, at least four vegetable trucks were apprehended, impounded including the vegetables and were released only when the penalty of 4,500 pesos per truck were paid. The latest of which involves six trucks were apprehended and impounded at Divisoria and later on were released after paying the penalty.

Fongwan said reports that trucks are being stopped have reached his office since the truck ban has been implemented.

A 10-wheeler truck, to transport vegetables from Benguet to Divisoria, contains 18-20 tons of mixed vegetables as hundreds of trucks ply the Benguet – Manila route daily to deliver produce to the end markets.

Benito Hipolito, president of the Benguet truckers and Traders Association has previously asked Fongwan to intervene in the exemption of vegetable trucks from the newly implemented truck ban.

Now, trucks were instructed the route they should take would be from C3 then left turn to road 10 and then left turn to Moriones. However, at Moriones, there is a no entry policy that traffic authorities are implementing.

Agot Balanoy, Benguet Farmers Marketing Cooperative and Farmersdotnet said, "These days, the apprehension stopped however, the problem at Moriones is causing problems. And it seems that some traffic authorities are not well informed that the truck ban being implemented exempts those carrying perishable goods. It may also be possible that some traffic authorities are taking advantage of this to collect from truckers."

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on March 12, 2014.

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