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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, September 25, 2017
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TIGHT ROPE
WITH MODESTO P. SA-ONOY
OPINIONS

Cargo trucks

Tightrope

Several cargo trucks had been apprehended for illegal parking and obstruction. Although belated, still the action of the Land Transportation Office is welcome. We expect that this campaign will be sustaining and vigorous to prevent lives and properties from being lost unnecessarily.

We have had many accidents involving cane trucks parked along the highways at night and although accidents had been reduced considerably with the widening of the roads, still the highway is for passage, not parking. On dark, rainy nights those trucks pose danger especially because their tail lights are covered by canes hanging from the overload and most have no EWD.

One defect of our roads is that most have no shoulders or rest areas where vehicles can stay out of the traffic lane. Perhaps the LTO can also authorize local traffic enforcers or police to insure that highways are free of these hazards.

We now see plenty of trucks because the milling season has begun. The overloaded cane trucks park, queue actually, along the highway and wait for their turn to get to the mills.

This illegal parking is true for those bringing canes to First Farmers as well as those for Victorias and Binalbagan. Cane trucks for other mills, however, do park also along the roads but these are not heavy with traffic. Nevertheless they pose a danger to life and limb. First Farmers has recently come out with an apology for this queuing and with that I hope a solution is forthcoming to avoid the same situation. Fortunately only nerves were frayed and no lives and properties lost. But FF realized the danger and this is good.

For years this problem has been pestering the public not only because of parking but also the overloading that quite often cause canes to spill into the highway and pose a danger to the motorists. I always avoid following these cane trucks not only because their loads could tumble down the car but also because of pilferers that could be ran over. Overly and poorly loaded canes had spilled over motorists.

Many times I passed by piles of canes without warning devices. Some enterprising residents however, had made a business out of these spilled canes by gathering and selling them to the “landless planters.” Since the demise of sugar districts, people without a plantation could just bring the canes to the mills. That is cheaper than cultivating the cane.

I wonder whatever happened to those weighing bridges of the DPWH and local ordinances prohibiting overloading. Now that they know parking along the highway is illegal, should not planters and millers find a space within the mill compound where these trucks can wait for their turn? This will also prevent pilferage.

One quirk or folly in the sugar industry is the transport of canes over 100 kilometers away when there is one or three mills along the way. This is one issue that the Sugar Regulatory Administration has failed to resolve because of its inability to impose mill efficiency to prevent crisscrossing of cane supply from one end of the island to another.

The newest cargo trucks to proliferate are those carrying goods and materials. They include container vans and flat beds with large cargo containers. They are usually from Cebu and away from their base they also use the widened highways to park overnight. Some have no warning devices and therefore pose a grave danger to other vehicles. Most commonly we find them along the circumferential and the Bacolod-Talisay roads.

While cane trucks avoid the Bacolod main streets, cargo, container vans and flatbeds traverse the city streets during peak hours. Their bulk occupy a wider area and because of their size their drivers are often notorious in not giving way. They and huge cement mixers add to the clogging of the streets.

These trucks should have transport schedules outside the peak hours. Of course we can understand the situation of the cement mixers but they can enter into an agreement with the city on which time they could be less obstructive.

Cargo trucks, especially those from outside the island or those wanting to stay overnight should have their own yard or pay parking places. This should not be a problem since there are many places outside the city proper that they can rent.

The bottom line here is for them and the city to prevent accidents and traffic snarls. *

           

 

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