MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/ 22 December)–The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has been asked to install at least seven more weighbridges (truck scales) in Northern Mindanao, including four in Bukidnon, to make the campaign against cargo overloading among trucks more effective.
This was contained in a resolution passed by the Regional Development Council (RDC) in Region 10, which was presented to the Bukidnon Provincial Development Council.
The proposal is among the recommendations by the RDC Infrastructure and Utilities Development Committee (InfraCom) to address at least six issues and concerns raised before them this year.
The committee recommended building weighbridges in the following “proposed strategic locations:” Magsaysay, Misamis Oriental (Caraga side); Sapang Dalaga, Misamis Occidental (Western Mindanao side); Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte (Western Mindanao side); Kalilangan, Bukidnon (ARMM side); Damulog, Bukidnon (Southwestern Mindanao side); Kitaotao, Bukidnon (Southern Mindanao side); and in Aglayan, Malaybalay City (for cargoes coming from Bukidnon towns).
The InfraCom also recommended that the weighbridge in El Salvador, Misamis Oriental be repaired, while the weighbridge in Puerto, Cagayan de Oro City be relocated to a “flat” location.
The committee cited that the heavy loads of trucks and trailers from other regions going to the Mindanao Container Terminal and the Cagayan de Oro Port “put much tension in the road network of Region 10, which essentially shortens the life of the roads.”
The committee also recommended that the weighbridges shall be located prior to entering Cagayan de Oro, so that trucks coming from outside the city are weighed only prior to entering the city.
The InfraCom also noted that excess cargoes are not unloaded because the DPWH has no warehouse facilities or unloading equipment.
It recommended to the DPWH to explore the possibility of putting warehouses and unloading equipment at the proposed weighbridge locations.
The committee also recommended that the Department of Transportation and Communications’ (DOTC) Land Transportation Office (LTO) implements strict monitoring or checking of axle modifications made on trucks and trailers upon registration to reflect the exact Motor Vehicle User’s Charge.
Because of the observation that violating truck operators have less responsibility, the committee also recommended for the DPWH, the DOTC, and the LTO that the citation in the temporary owner’s permit shall not only mention the driver’s name but also the truck operator.
To stop the problem of overloaded inbound shipping cargoes, the committee also recommended putting weighbridges in the ports.
“Overloaded containers could be stored at the warehouses of the cargo handlers, with the consignee paying the required storage fees,” it added.
The committee particularly recommended for the DOTC and the Philippine Ports Authority to put up weighbridges in Iligan and Ozamis ports, and for drafting policy and guidelines on this proposed weighing in ports.
The DOTC was also asked to do regular calibration of weighbridges and portable axle load weighing stations to keep them stick to standards.
The functionality of weighbridges has figured several times in the deliberations at the Bukidnon Sangguniang Panlalawigan since 2009, particularly the problem of cargo overloading.
In March 2009, MindaNews reported that the provincial board summoned DPWH regional officials on the problem of overloading by cargo trucks plying the Sayre Highway.
The board wanted the DPWH to clarify the real score about the functions of weighbridges, noting that overloaded cargo trucks are traversing the highway.
One provincial board member zeroed in on cargo trucks carrying sugar and molasses. He alleged the trucks carry load as heavy as 35 tons.
“I wonder why these trucks are allowed to pass in our roads designed only for 20 tons or less,” the board member added. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)