Metro mayors stop collection of ‘pass-through fees’

Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos (C) attends a meeting of the Metro Manila Council (MMC) on Friday, October 6, at the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) in Pasig City. Joining Abalos are San Juan City Mayor and MMC President Francis Zamora (L) and MMDA and MMC Chairperson lawyer Romando Artes. (PIA-NCR photo) 

MANILA, (PIA) — The Metro Manila Council (MMC) on Friday, October 6, issued a resolution declaring a moratorium on the collection of “pass-through fees” on national roads and any form of fees for motor vehicles transporting goods.

In the interest of public welfare, said LGUs are further strongly urged to suspend or discontinue the collection of fees, such as but not limited to, sticker fees, discharging fees, market fees, toll fees, entry fees, or Mayor’s permit fees, that are imposed upon all motor vehicles transporting goods and passing through any local public roads constructed and funded by said LGUs,” the resolution read.

The MMC, composed of the 17 local chief executives in Metro Manila, said the move is in support of Executive Order (EO) No. 41, signed by President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. in September, which helps businesses lower the prices of goods.

San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora, who serves as the president of MMC, emphasized that the current ordinances enforced by local government units (LGUs) in Metro Manila, which collect these fees, would either be revoked or temporarily halted.

President Marcos’ EO directed local government units to suspend the collection of pass-through fees to ensure the efficient movement of goods across regions.

Lawyer Don Artes, the acting chairperson of MMDA who also presided the meeting, mentioned that the suspension would contribute to mitigating the inflation rate and alleviating the impact of rising prices on consumers.

We are one with President Marcos Jr.’s goal to simplify procedures required for transporters to bring produce from farm-to-market and to mitigate effects of inflation which impacts the public,” he said in a press briefing.

Perhaps before Christmas, we can feel the impact of the EO since many deliveries will be made,” he added.

Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos, who was also attended the meeting, personally thanked the Metro Manila mayors for their “true spirit of bayanihan” in unanimously suspending their pass-through fees collection, as he urged other LGUs to review their revenue ordinances in compliance with President Marcos’ directive of suspension of pass-through fees.

This practice has to stop – in the name of public welfare, in the name of food security. There are, of course, other economic factors here that may be beyond our control. But the imposition of pass-through fees is certainly within our control. Kayang kaya natin ito kasama ang puwersa at suporta ng mga pamahalaang lokal (We can do it with the full support of our local government units),” Abalos said.

Abalos suggested that ordinances encompassing not only the typical charges related to transporting goods but also analogous fees such as sticker fees, delivery fees, unloading fees, entry fees, and others should undergo a thorough review. “Let’s examine them closely; perhaps we can streamline or rationalize them for the time being,” he said.

Many of those implementing these pass-through fees are at the barangay level. These fees may seem small individually, in various forms, but when you aggregate them, they have a significant impact on our producers and contribute to price increases,” he added. (PIA-NCR)

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