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Truckers support Capitol’s traffic solution policies
By: Eleanor Valeros | Published Friday, January 22, 2021
Representatives of the truckers industry in Cebu met with Gov. Gwen Garcia to discuss Capitol’s policies aimed to address the Province’s traffic situation. (Junjie Mendoza)

Sometimes solutions need to be bold. Sometimes it takes solutions to be experimental in nature.

This is how Stephen "Bobong" Castillo responded to the initiative of Governor Gwendolyn Garcia who had to go against all odds in her signing of Executive Orders 2 and 2-A on the releasing and pulling out of cargo from the Cebu International Port (CIP).

Castillo, president of Big Blue Logistics Corporation, said that while the initiative reaped mixed reactions and stirred emotions from affected truckers and the general public, the governor deserves a kudos for taking on continuous efforts to respond to the persistent traffic jams in the Cebu North Road. 

Castillo joined a meeting with the governor along with truckers and representatives of line agencies on Jan. 21. He called on truckers to speak their mind and speak on behalf of their colleagues in the industry.

He enjoined truckers to be more responsive to the call of the times, he being an insider in the refrigerated warehousing industry which sees to it that food supply is stable despite catastrophes and crises of sorts.

"We are glad that we have a leader like Governor Garcia. Leadership is having a vision. Leadership requires making a decision and standing by that decision. Pasalamat gyud ta kay naa tay governor who has the effort to look for new solutions," Castillo stated.

He also pointed out that the door is always open for a re-negotiation should solutions don't work well the way they are expected.

"Pwede man mo-write og position paper. Pwede man ta makabalik sa Capitol. I see nga the governor is not adverse towards different positions. Ang dili lang niya ganahan kanang dili nato suwayan," he said.

Alin Customs Brokerage General Manager Israel Dionaldo Alin also shared in the call to embrace adjustments.

"As truckers, we are embracing the changes and we could just adjust to help and support the administration," he said.

"Starting Monday (Jan. 25) mag-start na ang atoang pag-uli sa empty containers during the night para mabawas-bawasan ang heavy traffic during the day," he added.

He urged truckers to see to it that empty containers or "empties" return to the container yards following Capitol directive and not obstruct road traffic.

"I ask the support of my fellow truckers in Cebu to be thankful and receptive to changes kay progresibo naman gyud ang Cebu. We will continue to dialogue with Gov, maminaw ra man siya," Alin expressed.

Garcia signed on Friday, January 22 EO 2-B on regulating the return of empty shipping containers to container yards and empty cargo trucks plying portions of the national highway.

Seeing the positive impact of regulations stipulated in EOs 2 and 2-A on the traffic situation around the CIP and other areas of Cebu, the governor saw the need to further regulate the return of empty containers to their respective yards.

"In confluence with Executive Order Nos. 2 and 2-A, Series of 2021, I hereby direct all truck operators to transport empty intermodal containers to container yards within 9 pm to 5 am only. The transport of empty intermodal containers transported outside said time frame shall be prohibited," Garcia ordered.

“Empty trailer trucks, not carrying intermodal containers, shall be prohibited from plying the national highway beginning from the boundary delineating the City of Mandaue and Canduman all the way through the Municipality of Consolacion until the border in Cotcot, Liloan delineating the Municipality of Liloan and the Municipality of Compostela," the EO further read.

The EO shall take effect on Monday, January 25.

Truck and cargo vehicles converging at the CIP during release of their cargoes have been identified as one of the causes of heavy traffic from the pier area up to Consolacion and Liloan towns.

To remedy this, Garcia signed EO 2 on January 12 which allowed the releasing and pulling out of cargoes from the port from 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. daily starting January 15.

In EO No. 2-A, release and pull out of cargoes is allowed from the CIP intended for transfer to domestic base ports and other container yards located within the port zone area of the CIP at any time of the day. (Eleanor Valeros)