LGUs urged to stop pass-through fees collection

October 7, 2023 Jun I. Legaspi 535 views

LOCAL Government Secretary Benhur Abalos urged the local chief executives (LCE) of Metro Manila to stop collecting pass-through fees and at the same time review their revenue ordinances to ensure compliance with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s directive.

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has 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.

“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,” Abalos said during a Metro Manila Council meeting on Friday.

Under Resolution No. 23-15, the Metro Manila Council (MMC), the governing board and policy-making body of the MMDA, said the move is in support of Executive Order No. 41, signed by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. last month, which would help lower the prices of goods.

The EO ordered the local government units to suspend the collection of pass-through fees to ensure the efficient movement of goods across regions.

“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.

MMDA acting chair Don Artes said the moratorium would help temper the inflation rate and ease the burden of consumers with the increase in prices of goods.

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

San Juan City Mayor and MMC president Francis Zamora said existing ordinances of LGUs in the National Capital Region collecting such fees would be repealed or suspended.

Abalos said there are also ordinances covering not just the usual fees imposed on transporting goods but also similar fees like sticker fees, delivery fees, discharging fees, entry fees, et cetera should also be reviewed. “Pag-aralan natin, baka pwedeng i-rationalize muna.”

Abalos also urged LCEs to ensure the strict compliance and participation of barangays in the implementation of EO 41. He added that according to reports reaching the DILG, various barangays across the country impose pass-through fees even in the communities.

“Marami sa mga nagpapatupad ng pass-through fees na ito ay mga barangay. Maliliit na paniningil, in various forms, pero pag pinagsama-sama mo ay malaki ang impact sa ating producers at nakakadagdag sa pagtaas ng presyo,” he said.