DILG to actively monitor LGUs over collection of unauthorized ‘tolls’

THE local government department has committed to actively monitor municipalities collecting so-called “pass-through” charges and annual fees from goods delivery vehicles, in order to minimize the impact of logisics costs on prices.

In a briefing, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) made the commitment at a National Price Coordinating Council (NPCC) meeting.

The NPCC was discussing the implementation of Executive Order (EO) No. 41.

Signed last year, EO 41 prohibits the collection of pass-through charges on national roads and discourages LGUs from collecting any other sort of fee on all types of vehicles.

“The DILG said it is willing to take a more proactive approach, which means that instead of waiting on reports from trucking groups or associations, they’re willing to help in the monitoring to ensure that the mandate of the cur-rent administration is being followed,” DTI Consumer Protection Group Assistant Secretary Amanda Marie F. Nograles said.

During the meeting, the DILG reported that 44 of the 1,716 LGUs have ordinances imposing pass-through fees; of these, 12 LGUs have yet to suspend the collection of the fees while 32 have complied.

During the meeting, the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) and the Department of Justice (DoJ) also provided updates on their ongoing study of the suggested retail price (SRP) scheme.

“The PCC reported that it is due to finish its study recommendation to DTI by September, while the DoJ said it has updated its study and will be submitting it to the DTI by the end of this week,” Ms. Nograles said.

The studies are evaluating the effectiveness of the SRP mechanism, which previous studies conducted by the World Bank have concluded are anti-competitive. — Justine Irish D. Tabile