Isko admonishes truck owners, warns of Manila port closure

August 09, 2019
Isko Moreno and Dennis Viaje
Isko Moreno and Dennis Viaje

A VISIBLY irked Manila Mayor Isko Moreno yesterday admonished truck owners whose drivers’ lack of discipline caused standstill traffic along the stretch of Pres. Marcos Highway, Radial 10 and Roxas Boulevard and warned of possible closure of the ports if his appeal is not heeded.

Despite heavy rains, Moreno called an emergency meeting with officials and members of the Truckers Association at Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) and  the Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau (MTPB) headed by Dennis Viaje due to hours of gridlock caused by trucks with container vans filling up the entire highway.

Moreno said the truck drivers’ occupied the entire road beyond their designated lanes affecting traffic flow on Lacson-España, Otis, Nagtahan, Quirino and other roads leading to Roxas Boulevard.

“Wala ako actually problema sa truckers (associations). Ang problema ko sa drivers, I always tell them, when it’s traffic, when there is a problem, sana huwag umiral yung pagiging makasarili ng truck drivers. Ang tendency kasi pag traffic, ang gagawin ng driver, pupunta sa ibang lane. Sa pagmamadali na habulin ang kanyang schedule. The more na binubuntis niyo ang kalye, the more na made-delay,” Moreno said.    

“Wala naman tayo magagawa sa port operations dahil sa technical difficulties but it doesn’t give you the right to occupy the entire road. ‘Wag n’yo na ulitin. The city is answerable to our people. Don’t make us close the port. Don’t push us to the wall,” Moreno added

The stretch of Roxas Boulevard up to the Pres. Ferdinand Marcos Highway became virtually a “parking lot” because of long hours of standstill traffic for the past two weeks.

The Philippine Port Authority (PPA) had directed the Asian Terminals Inc (ATI), operator of South Harbor, to suspend acceptance of truck bookings until all trucks parked and waiting at the Manila South Harbor have been accommodated.