ILOILO governor Arthur Defensor Sr. has ordered a crackdown on overloaded vehicles to prevent the deterioration of the province’s existing road networks.

Defensor revived the enforcement of anti-overloading ordinance following reports that some road sections, especially those along the major river systems here, have either holes or longitudinal cracks.

“We are having this campaign again and this time, it’s going to be more aggressive. We can’t tolerate these erring cargo operators,” the governor said.

To implement the law effectively, a task force has been recreated with Provincial Engineering Office and Iloilo Provincial Police Office as lead implementers.

Provincial Administrator Raul Banias said the task force’s operation will be in a 24/7 basis so they can to apprehend violators even on wee hours. The service of some contractual employees may also be utilized for this purpose.

Enacted in 2011, the province’s anti-overloading ordinance was authored by Provincial Board Member June Mondejar.

It covers all loaded six-wheeler trucks with gross vehicle weight (GVW) of more than 16,880 kgs. and loaded ten-wheeler trucks with GVW of more than 27,250 kgs.

It mandates that six- or ten-wheeler trucks with axle load of more than 13,500 kgs. shall be prohibited from passing through any section of the 655.6-km provincial roads here.

Special vehicles like fire trucks, military trucks and trucks carrying backhoes, bulldozers or any other heavy construction equipment, however, are exempted.

If caught, the drivers or operators of the overloaded trucks have to pay P3,000 in 1st offense, P4,000 in 2nd offense and P5,000 in 3rd offense or imprisonment of up to three months.

If violators settled for a compromise fine, the impounded trucks will be released and the excess load will be removed at their expense.

The implementation of the ordinance was put on-hold last year in compliance to DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson’s moratorium order. But that order expired last January 31, 2014. (Jezza A. Nepomoceno)