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Estrada defends Manila truck ban; More people benefited from it.

Byline: Matikas Santos

MANILA -- The Manila truck ban has been blamed for various things: the rise in prices of commodities, a messed-up supply chain, and the congestion in the ports of Manila. But Mayor Joseph Estrada continues to defend the city ordinance, saying it has more boons than banes.

"There is no problem with the truck ban. I gave them (truckers) enough windows; in Roxas Boulevard, there is a trade express lane, what more can they ask for?" Estrada said in an interview at Sandiganbayan during the bail hearing of his son Senator Jose "Jinggoy" Estrada.

"If we lift the truck ban, the traffic problem will return. Imagine all the students that are now able to go to school on time, employees that are no longer late. There are many who benefited from this truck ban, the great majority are happy, especially the people of Manila," he said.

Manila's truck ban ordinance, implemented February for 2014, has been blamed for the rise in the prices of goods because the supply chain was affected. Cargo trucks carrying container vans are not allowed on Manila's main roads from 5 in the morning to 9 in the evening.

Estrada, however, dismissed those accusations, saying perishable goods and construction materials are not included in the ban.

"What does the truck ban have to do with [rising prices]? Perishable goods are allowed all over Manila, there is no ban on perishable goods, they are allowed 24 hours. Construction materials are also allowed 24 hours a day," Estrada said.

"There is no reason to lift the ban. Would you rather the container trucks be allowed and cause traffic? There is no reason to blame us, we are just regulating. What is illegal is illegal," he said.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Aug 12, 2014
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