QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The House of Representatives (HOR) on Monday (December 10) suspended the implementation of an order issued by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) phasing out trucks 15 years old and above.
According to House Committee on Metro Manila Development, the suspension was due to lack of comprehensive study on its implementation by the agencies enforcing the order.
“(Were) there studies made prior to issuance of this department order, studies that reflect that after 15 years, certain vehicles in the country resulted in accidents breakdowns of trucks?’ asked COOP-NATCO Party list Rep. Anthony Bravo.
“On my personal knowledge po wala po. Hindi ko po alam sa DOTR. Ang alam ko po nag trigger nito yung mga dumadaming aksidete ng units,” replied Board Member Ronaldo Corpuz of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
Corpuz argued that vehicles 15 years old and above are already prone to accidents since the metals could be worn out already due to age.
“Ikino-consider din po diyan ang metal fatigue. Kahit po sabihin natin na kunwari ang isang unit ay nagpa-ganda pero iyong kalamnan niya ay medyo marupok na rin,” Corpuz argued.
But the House panel and a group of truckers are not convinced by LTFRB’s argument.
“Ang naaaksidenteng nakikita natin nakakatulog lang yung drivers,” said Senior Citizens Party list Rep. Francisco Datol.
“Ang problema po ang disiplina ng mga driver natin. Kung minsan kung makipagbalagbagan sa kalsada kala mo sidecar ang dala,” added Rep. Michael Lopez of Manila.
For the Alliance of Philippine Brokers and Truckers, the standard of the vehicle is not measured by its age.
“There could very well be trucks that are 5 years old and yet not be road worthy…it appears that the standard being used is not reasonable,” argued Atty. Ferdinand Mañebo, the group’s legal counsel.
The House committee suggested that the DOTr should work more on purchasing new motor vehicle inspection service units to make sure that all vehicles are properly checked before travelling.
“Two years ago we [Congress] allocated funds for the purchase of MVIS. However, because of the bureaucratic delay of your office, hindi po nare-realize ang beauty ng implementation ng MVIS,” explained Committee Chair Rep. Winnie Castelo.
Castelo has ordered the committee secretary to notify the DOTr of the suspension of the order on truck phase out. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Grace Casin)