President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has ordered the local government units (LGUs) to suspend the collection of the “pass-through fees” to ensure the efficient movement of goods across regions aligned with the government’s strategies to revitalize local industries under the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028. 

A three-page Executive Order No. 41 signed by Executive Secretary Lucas P. Bersamin on September 25 stated that all LGUs are prohibited from collecting toll fees and charges to all motor vehicles transporting goods or merchandise while passing through any national roads and other roads not constructed and funded by them. 

“In the interest of public welfare, all LGUs are further strongly urged to suspend or discontinue the collection of fees such as, but not limited to, sticker fees, discharging fees, delivery 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 EO stated. 

The EO emphasized that “the unauthorized imposition of pass-through fees has a significant impact on transportation and logistics costs, which are often passed on to consumers, who ultimately bear the burden of paying for the increase in prices of goods and commodities.”

The EO also stressed that reducing transport and logistics costs is one of the pillars of the 8-Point Socioeconomic Agenda of the Marcos administration. 

“In order to uphold the welfare and advance the best interest of the Filipino people, it is the overarching policy of the Administration to consolidate all essential components within the value and supply chain, and reduce the costs of food logistics, which play a pivotal role in effectively tempering the inflation rate in the country,” the EO added. 

“Building a robust and collaborative partnership between the National Government and LGUs is essential in effectively addressing the impacts of inflation and promoting economic prosperity across all regions,” the EO added. 

To effectively implement the EO, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) is directed to secure copies of existing ordinances of all LGUs on the collection of pass-through fees imposed on motor vehicles, including those issued pursuant to Section 153 and 155 of Republic Act No. 7160, also known as the Local Government Code of 1991, within 30 days from the effectivity of the EO.

The EO will take effect immediately upon its publication in the Official Gazette or a newspaper of general circulation. 

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Transportation (DOTr), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA), and the Department of Finance (DOF) will evaluate the ordinances secured by the DILG to ensure its compliance with RA 7160.

Failure to comply with the directives is subject to administrative and disciplinary sanctions against erring public officials or employees.

Within 30 days from the effectivity of the EO, the same group of agencies is also tasked to formulate and issue guidelines necessary, or amend or consolidate existing rules, regulations, or issuances as may be appropriate for the effective implementation of the order. | PND

Photo Courtesy by PNA