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Bulacan solon wants overloaded vehicles banned from Manila North Road

By: - Correspondent / @inquirerdotnet
/ 04:56 PM July 24, 2022

GUIGUINTO, Bulacan — Bulacan 5th district Rep. Ambrosio Cruz Jr. is set to file a bill that will ban overloaded trucks and trailers from passing through the Manila North Road (MacArthur Highway) to halt the road’s deterioration that earned the province the infamous monicker “Lubakan” (potholes).

Cruz said he is filing a “total ban on overloading” bill right after the State of the Nation Address of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Monday.

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The bill, unlike Republic Act 8794 or the Anti-Overloading Law, will not only fine violators but also ban the passage and transport of goods altogether on the Manila North Road (MNR).

Under RA 8794, trucks, cargos, and trailers are only allowed to carry and transport 41,500 to 42,000 kilos or 45-46 tons, and violators must be fined 25 percent of the amount of their motor vehicle owner’s charge.

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Cruz said he is meeting Central Luzon, Isabela, and Metro Manila truckers and haulers for a summit for stricter implementation of RA 8794 soon.

“If we do not do it now, Bulacan roads will forever be damaged,” he said.

Cruz said truckers and haulers blatantly violate RA 8794 with 70-80 tons load of rice, crops, aggregates, sand, marble, boulders, and other quarry materials on their vehicles which destroy the road.

He said businessmen engaged in trucking, hauling, and forwarding in Isabela, Pampanga, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, and Metro Manila with overloaded cargos avoid the North Luzon Expressway and prey on MNR, leaving most parts of this highway damaged.

Cruz, a former mayor of Guiguinto, said his district covers Guiguinto, Balagtas, and Bocaue, the most heavily damaged MNR areas of Bulacan.

Cruz said checkpoints should be maintained in different affected towns by the respective local government units.

Weighing scales

Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Bulacan First District Engineering Office Head Henry Alcantara said the MNR highway and other national roads in Bulacan are pass ways of transporting quarry materials, such as aggregates, sand, marble, and other tons of goods and products, in and out of Metro Manila.

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Alcantara appealed to all Bulacan mayors concerned to pass respective ordinances and strictly implement them to stop the wreckage of MNR.

He said they have weighing scales in designated areas but they do not have police power to sanction the violators.

“They should pass an ordinance to go after these violators with corresponding fees and other sanctions,” he said.

Alcantara also said the industrial and coastal areas of Malolos, Guiguinto, Balagtas, and Bocaue are also flood-prone, causing the MNR roads to easily be destroyed when heavy and overloaded trucks pass.

Since 2019, Alcantara’s office spent more than P300 million worth of upgrading works along MacArthur highway: P54 million for the upgrading along Balagtas public market, P91 million worth upgrading of Lolomboy section in Bocaue in 2020, upgrading of Balagtas-Bocaue boundary in 2019 worth P18 million, Malolos Tikay upgrading in 2020 worth P69 million, and P87 million for the current project being constructed.

Alcantara said since he assumed his post in 2019, his office had already rehabilitated and upgraded about 4 km of the sections needing repairs, as well as portions of the more than 26 kilometers of MacArthur highway from Calumpit to Bocaue that are under his care.

He said that in 2020, he had already asked for P810 million budget for all the needed upgrading but because of the pandemic, only P87 million was released in January for the ongoing rehabilitation and upgrading of 600 meters Balagtas-Bocaue boundary area in MacArthur Highway, which is one of the worst and heavily damaged parts.

These works are targeted to be completed by the third quarter of the year.

READ: Warning up against boarding overloaded buses in Cebu

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TAGS: Bulacan, Manila North Road, MNR, overloaded
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