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Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras

Ph gov’t intensifies ‘anti-kotong’ campaign

Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras
Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras

MANILA, Philippines – The government will launch an “invigorated anti-kotong campaign” in the next two weeks in an effort to help truckers move containers from the Port of Manila, Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras said on Friday.

“We’re going to be launching an invigorated anti-kotong operation, particularly those that are targeting these trucks, because the truckers have said that one of their problems is these illegal and unscrupulous operations,” Secretary Almendras told reporters during a press briefing in Malacañang.

He said these illegal operations have raised the cost of transporting cargoes from Manila’s seaport to their destinations.

“Tumaas ho ang presyo, as well as the pressure has been significant, kaya rin naiipit ang mga cargo. So, we are going to face this challenge head-on with a new task force under the NCRPO (National Capital Region Police Office) po,” Almendras said.

He said Philippine National Police Chief General Alan Purisima has assigned a senior officer of the NCRPO, General Allen Bantolo, to oversee the anti-kotong operations and inform traffic enforcers of the special facility to be given to truckers.

Some traffic enforcers who have not been “appropriately informed” of the special facility, are taking advantage of the situation, he noted.

The Cabinet Secretary reported that Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino met with traffic enforcement groups of different cities and municipalities in Metro Manila to inform them of the special facility.

To help decongest the Port of Manila, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board and MMDA will be giving tags to trucks moving containers out of the seaport. The tag will enable the truckers to avail of the two-week window that will allow them to use the express lanes, even if they go beyond the 24-hour allotment to transport their goods.

“We’re looking forward to Sunday. As of today, I saw a list of the importers who all said they are going to draw containers this Sunday, and it’s a good list. I’m looking forward to a good Sunday, and if we can do that, so much the better,” Secretary Almendras said.


Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.