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Pampanga’s quarry operations resume

Gov Delta ushers 10-wheeler truck entry at NLEX 

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO — Quarry operations in the province have resumed on August 19, after a 2-week suspension by the provincial government.

Governor Dennis “Delta” Pineda said this came after the Capitol issued hauling passes to 150 trucks that have met the weight requirement imposed by Republic Act No. 8794, also known as the “Anti-overloading Act.”

Nagsimula na po ulit ang quarry operations, pero limited lang po ang mga trak na pwedeng kargahan. ‘Yon lang mga may hauling pass stickers ang pwedeng bumiyahe,” said Governor Delta, as he ushered the first batch of quarry trucks allowed to operate after the said suspension.

Last August 2, the Governor announced the 2-week suspension of quarry operations in the province to give way for the cutting of sidings of the trucks used in transporting sand, gravel, and other quarry materials.

Sa nakalipas na dalawang linggo, itinigil muna ang operasyon ng quarry sa probinsiya para bigyang-daan ang pagpuputol sa sidings ng mga quarry truck. Tuluy-tuloy pa rin ang ating pagtitimbang at pagpuputol nang sa gayon ay makuha natin ‘yung allowable gross vehicle weight,” said Governor Delta.

Initially, the governor allowed eight (8) among the first 150 accredited trucks to pass through the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) on the first day of the resumption of quarry operations in the province.

He said quarry truckers and haulers in the province respect the decision of the NLEx Corporation to limit the vehicles entering the expressway to prevent further road damages.

Bagaman kumikita ang probinsiya sa pagbubuhangin, kulang pa rin po ang kita na ‘to kumpara sa mga natatapon na pera taun-taon dahil sa mga nasisirang kalsada. Dahil dito, kailangan nating respetuhin talaga ‘yung ipinatutupad na weight limit,” said Governor Delta.

As per the rerouting plan of NLEx Corp., vehicles with 12 or more wheels and those with weight exceeding 33 tons will not be allowed to enter the Candaba Viaduct Southbound starting August 1 due to the ongoing upgrade of the bridge.

However, the NLEx Corp. stressed that vehicles with 10 and fewer wheels and a weight of less than 33 tons will still be allowed to pass the area.

The NLEx Corp. wants to convey ‘yung appreciation po sa ginagawa ng Pampanga quarry operators by cutting po ‘yung kanilang sidings ng trucks in order to comply po rito sa weight limit po na tinatalaga po ng R.A. 8794. Malaking tulong po ito, sana po hinihiling natin na ‘yung ibang local government units ay sumunod na rin po para maging safe na ‘yung ating expressway. Ito pong mga 10-wheeler na naputulan na ng sidings, tuluy-tuloy nang makapapasok sa NLEx, hindi na po sila titimbangin, dahil accredited na ‘tong mga trucks na ‘to,” said Robin Ignacio, head of the NLEx Corp. Traffic Operations Department.

Lennard Lansang, president of the Porac Truckers and Haulers Association, Inc., expressed support to the strict enforcement of the Anti-overloading Act in the province.

Nananawagan ako sa lahat ng truckers, Pampanga man o nationwide, sundin na lang natin ‘yung batas para ‘yung mga daan ay ma-preserve natin. Ito ho ay para sa ‘tin din naman, less maintenance at mas magkakaroon po tayo ng savings kaysa puro na lang sira ‘yung mga sasakyan natin,” said Lansang.

According to the report of KALAM as of August 18, a total of 2,006 trucks were already measured, 600 of which passed the inspection and are now recommended for accreditation.

Governor Delta also warned the truckers who will be caught violating the said Act.

“‘Yung ibang truckers, willing magbayad ng penalty kapag nahuli silang nag-overload. Pero ngayon, hindi lang gano’n ang mangyayari pagdating sa Pampanga, kailangan ninyong i-unload ‘yung sobrang timbang ninyo sa area kung saan kayo haharangin,” said the governor.

He also asked the cooperation of all the Kapampangans in reporting the trucks traveling around the province with high sidings and no hauling pass stickers.

Meanwhile, the Department of Public Works and Highways regional office is urging motorists passing through the Ilog Bakod Bridge in San Miguel, Bulacan to follow the 33-metric ton load limit regardless of the truck axle configuration.

The agency said it received complaints that trucks loaded with construction materials are prohibited from passing through the bridge even though the load requirement has been met.

According to the agency, damaged pavements of the said structure require immediate restoration. The DPWH Bulacan 2nd District Engineering has been undertaking bridge rehabilitation works since Aug. 5, with the Local Government of San Miguel and the San Miguel Municipal Police Station managing the traffic. 

Meanwhile, overloaded trucks coming from the Cagayan Valley Region seem not aware of the imposed load restriction, thus contributing to the gridlock in San Miguel because of the load restrictions. 

The load limit was imposed to ensure that the bridge would not suffer further damage while the rehabilitation is underway.

The Ilog Bakod Bridge in Bulacan and even the Apalit Section of the Manila North Road in Pampanga are two infrastructures that have been seriously damaged by the unabated passage of overloaded trucks on the main roads of Central Luzon.

Recently, Governor Pineda implemented a moratorium on quarrying in the province and banned overloaded trucks from its roads and urged national government agencies to intensify enforcement of the Anti-Overloading Act to protect roads and bridges in the province. 

The operator of the North Luzon Expressway also intensified the implementation of the anti-overloading policy due to the ongoing renovation of the Cabiao Viaduct which resulted to the diversion of traffic in Daang Maharlika and Manila North Road.

Meanwhile, the DPWH Regional Office III is scheduled to meet with local officials from the City of Gapan in Nueva Ecija to request their cooperation in barring the entry of overloaded trucks that are headed for San Miguel.

The repair of the Ilog Bakod Bridge is expected to be completed by the end of September this year or earlier.