Weighing machines for anti-overloading campaign “defective and beyond repair”

MALAYBALAY CITY –  Here’s one for the books.
The machines are intended to ensure there is no overloading but the portable weighing machines delivered to the Department of Public Works and Highways in Northern Mindanao for the implementation of the anti-overloading campaign supposedly effective February 1, 2011 as mandated by law,  were defective, Leonardo Paulican, officer-in-charge of the DPWH Bukidnon’s  2nd engineering district, said.
Paulican told the provincial board Thursday that the DPWH regional office informed Bukidnon district engineers  in a letter that the machines delivered recently were recalled because “all portable weighing machines delivered to DPWH 10 are defective and beyond repair.”

Paulican cited a January 24 letter from DPWH 10 in response to his January 12 request to avail of the weighing machines.

“We have requested Manila (DPWH national office) for the machines,” he added.

Paulican said in the meantime they plan to do a physical check of the vehicles based on the provisions of the law.

But this irked board member Roland Deticio, who said the law says to weigh, not just to physically check.

Board member Nemesio Beltran, Majority Floorleader, complained of the delay, adding the implementation is badly needed in Bukidnon because of the heavy traffic of vehicles passing through the highway.

It was Beltran who called for the district engineers to appear at the session to shed light on the issue. He said it was important to address the problem as overloading is destroying Bukidnon’s highways.

Vice Gov. Jose Ma. R. Zubiri Jr. said among those heavily destroying Bukidnon’s highways are overloaded sugar cane trucks. He said the weighing machines should be installed not only in the entry and exit points of the highways in Bukidnon and proposed that a weigh bridge, not just a portable weighing machine be installed in Bukidnon.
He said it must be put up in strategic location particularly in Musuan, Maramag, Bukidnon, which is accessible to sugar cane-loaded trucks, too.

Republic Act 8794 is the law imposing a motor vehicle user’s charge on owners of all types of motor vehicles.
It mandated the DPWH to implement the anti-overloading campaign starting on February 1, in coordination with the Land Transportation Office and the Philippine National Police.

Among the target vehicles for the campaign, according to the DPWH, are trailers and cargo trucks that are used to transport goods from one region to another.

The LTO will deputize DPWH personnel in the implementation to enable them to apprehend violators.

Owners of trucks or trailers found to exceed the maximum allowable gross vehicle weight (GVW) will need to pay a penalty in the amount equivalent to 25% of the movable vehicle utility charge applicable to the vehicle at the time of the violation.

The penalty, according to the DPWH, shall be waived for loading exceeding the gross vehicle weight by tolerance of less than five percent. The law allows no vehicle to proceed to the roadway if either a dual-wheel axle load exceeds 13,500 kgs or the vehicle exceeds the 130%  maximum allowable GVW.

The provincial board passed a “strongly worded” resolution urging the DPWH to prioritize Bukidnon in the distribution of the vehicle weighing machines. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)