Speaker seeks lower transport costs

Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo

SPEAKER Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo pushed for the removal of the weighbridge fees to bring down the cost of goods.

In a statement, Arroyo said she proposed a resolution seeking to stop the charging of weighbridge fees in the transport of goods through the Roll On-Roll Off system. 

The Speaker made the proposal during an oversight meeting of the House Committee on Transportation in Hilongos, Leyte.

The panel was convened to continue the House Committee on Transportation’s discussion on the nautical highway and particularly the exorbitant shipping cost of goods through the RO-RO. 

Speaker Arroyo explained that weighbridge fees should be done away with to ease the costs for truckers and farmers, particularly those transporting agricultural goods through the Roll On-Roll Off (RO-RO) system from Mindanao to Luzon.

Due to the weighbridge fees, agricultural goods have become almost prohibitively expensive by the time they enter the Luzon market.

“It’s an additional cost to the industry. So we have a resolution here that since it’s a PPA (Philippine Ports Authority) function, they should not charge that function. Because there are five charges that they can make and weighing charges are not part of it,” she said.

“They will continue to weigh, but they cannot charge,” the House leader added.

Speaker Arroyo allayed fears that PPA collections will suffer due to her proposal and maintained that it is a practical measure.

“Mabuti nga they collect, eh DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways) doesn’t collect for its services. They can do it… And now the trade is even more than before,” she said.