By Justine Irish D. Tabile, Reporter
The truckers association stated on Monday that including local roads in THE PRESIDENT’S Executive Order 41 (EO 41), which suspends the collection of pass-through fees on national roads, would be more effective in reducing the expenses of delivering goods.
Maria B. Zapata, president of the Confederation of Truckers Association of the Philippines (CTAP), stated in a phone interview with BusinessWorld that implementing this on all roads would be beneficial. This is because not all trucks solely use national roads to access warehouses.
Last month, President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. enacted EO 41 in an effort to decrease expenses for transportation and logistics, however, the restriction on collecting pass-through fees applies only to national roads.
On Monday, Alfredo E. Pascual, the Trade Secretary, shared on the radio that their goal is not only to reduce costs, but also to expedite the delivery of goods. This will ensure that the products from farms reach the markets while still fresh.
Mr. Pascual found the President’s issuance as timely since the Department of Trade and Industry was meeting with manufacturers in a bid to review the suggested retail prices (SRP) of their products.
The Philippine Franchising Association (PFA) stated that while the implementation of EO 41 is a positive step, it may not fully address the increasing costs of gasoline, input materials, and agricultural materials.
According to PFA President Chris Lim, any measures that reduce costs and benefit the industry are supported by us. This includes the potential reduction of delivery costs and materials expenses. We all face challenges with rising prices, so we are in favor of any solutions that can help. However, there are limitations to what can be done. Lim made these statements during a press conference on Monday.
Ms. Zapata remembered that the previous administration had implemented a memorandum with a similar strategy, but this time it is in the form of an executive order.
She stated that the implementation of EO 41 needs to be clarified. She expressed her hope that it does not only apply to national roads, but to all roads. She emphasized the importance of this for small trucks and closed vans that deliver goods to small businesses or warehouses.
According to Mr. Lim, although the ban on pass-through fees on national roads may alleviate some of the inflation’s impact, the industry will still experience increasing costs that could limit franchisors’ ability to lower prices.
According to recent trends and information from the BSP (Central Bank of the Philippines), there is a possibility of higher inflation in the previous month. Given this inflationary climate, the speaker believes it will be difficult to lower prices if it continues.