Trucks en route to Mindanao crowd Dumaguete port

Delivery trucks and vans en route to Mindanao are now lining major thoroughfares leading to the city port here while waiting for roll on, roll off (RORO) vessels to ferry them to their destinations, causing a traffic slowdown in this Negros Oriental capital.

In an interview with the Philippine News Agency on Monday, Rey Lyndon Lawas, city adviser for security, emergency preparedness, management and response concerns, said the delivery/cargo vehicles started coming to Dumaguete after the onslaught of Typhoon Odette in mid-December, which cut off accessibility to some ports in Mindanao.

“The only available and operational ports with RORO services connecting to Mindanao are the city port here and that in Dapitan,” he said.

Lawas said these vehicles transporting goods and other essentials come from Negros Occidental, Cebu, and Bohol, and are lining up the streets, especially those within or near the port area.

They already have secured a bill of lading and are awaiting their turns on the RORO vessels, he added.

During the holidays, however, these delivery trucks and vans were observed to be parking on both sides of the streets, resulting in residents complaining as these vehicles pose a hazard to road users in the absence of traffic enforcers.

Lawas assured that further measures are now being taken to ensure road safety while accommodating these delivery vehicles in “balancing the economic needs of our neighboring Mindanao Island.”

Some measures for implementation beginning Monday include parking only on one side of the road to allow for wider lanes for motorists; requiring the presence of the driver/assistant of the truck within the parking premises; no parking allowed at “unsafe” zones, such as street corners leading to the pier area and the northern boulevard along Flores Avenue; and deployment of traffic enforcers even after office hours and/or during weekends, he said.

“We are doing our best to ensure the safety of everyone but unfortunately, it is like a cat-and-mouse game where the drivers of these vehicles park in prohibited spaces once they see that the traffic enforcers have left,” Lawas lamented.

Helping out in addressing this problem are the Traffic Management Office, the Dumaguete City Police Station, the Philippine Ports Authority, the Port Police, and the Highway Patrol Group, who attended a meeting last week, he said.

Aleson Shipping Lines, which operates the RORO vessels between the Dumaguete-Dapitan ports, has increased its voyage schedules, but still could not keep up with the number of delivery vehicles coming to this capital city, Lawas said.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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