Solon seeks probe of emission testing centers

Posted at 06/26/2014 4:37 PM

MANILA -- Senator Bam Aquino is calling for a probe on emission testing centers after reports that some of these engage in illegal activities in exchange for additional fees.

In a statement released Thursday, Aquino said there were reports that some private and public emission testing centers in the Land Transportation Office (LTO) issue false emission compliance certificates (ECC).

In line with this, Aquino filed a resolution seeking to look into the efficiency of emission testing centers in the issuance of ECC, which is one of the basic requirements of the LTO before a vehicle is processed for renewal registration.

The senator said illegal activities in some testing centers defeat the purpose of Republic Act 9749 or the Philippine Clean Air Act, which was passed in 1999 to maintain the quality of air and protect human life from the dangers of air pollution.

Under the Clean Air Act, a National Motor Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance Program has been established to promote the efficient and safe operation of motor vehicles and ensure the reduction of emissions from motor vehicles.

As part of the program, vehicles are required to undergo inspection and maintenance program as a requisite for renewal of registration and mandatory inspection to determine compliance with the in-use emission standards.

"The national government should be able to provide a quick systematic solution to the proliferation of these false ECCs in order to promote overall motor vehicle safety and prescribe an intensive convergence program towards the full implementation of the Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999," Aquino said.

Aquino said continuing increase in motor vehicles, lack of mass public transit system, and worsening traffic conditions further contribute to increasing air pollution.

"Needless to state, all motor vehicles (MV) must comply with exhaust emission standards prior to registration and operation in public highways," he said.

With the increasing air pollution, the Philippines is now ranked 114th in the recent Environmental Performance Index (EPI) report released by Yale University in terms of environmental performance of a state's policies
In terms of air quality, the Philippines ranked 85th and 110th in health impacts.

According to latest data from the Department of Health (DOH), 60 percent of lung cancer cases and other respiratory related diseases in the Philippines are because of air pollution.