DoTC hit for easing emission standards
Group urges gov’t agency to repeal orderBy Daxim L. Lucas, Paolo G. Montecillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—A new Department of Transportation and Communications regulation that relaxes emission test standards for private vehicles is a threat to the environment and must be repealed, a group of private emission testing operators said over the weekend.
In a statement, the group Ani Kalikasan said the order was issued by then Transportation Secretary Manuel Roxas II, before he transferred from the DoTC to the Department of the Interior and Local Governments.
The new order specifically excluded carbon dioxide from the list of emissions to be monitored before vehicle registrations are renewed.
The group said new regulations on motor vehicle Private Emission Testing Centers (PETC’s) that do business with the Land Transportation Office (LTO) could lead to the further deterioration of air quality in the country’s urban centers.
According to Ani Kalikasan president Macario Evangelista Jr., the DoTC’s Department Order 2012-10 revised the rules and regulations on the authorization and monitoring of motor vehicle Private Emission Testing Centers (PETCs) and effectively allowed the “unabated proliferation of carbon dioxide into the air” by motor vehicles.
“In 2005, DoTC required the testing of four gases, namely, hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and oxygen. Today, the new DoTC order has gone back to three gases, removing carbon dioxide, instead of going up to six to include nitrogen oxide and sulfur oxide in accordance with international standards,” Evangelista explained.
“Carbon dioxide gas is recognized worldwide as the number one air pollutant.”
The Ani Kalikasan chief said that Roxas “may not have been briefed accurately by his subordinates” because the new order “failed to consider the issues” involving climate change, where carbon dioxide gas has been recognized as a key factor.
Specifically, the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework to Climate Change—in which the Philippines is a signatory—and the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development underscore carbon dioxide from motor vehicles as one of the main concerns on global warming and climate change.
The group said that the DoTC order also encourages the “non-appearance” of motor vehicles at the testing centers.
“By allowing batch upload of data instead of the current real time upload, unscrupulous PETC operators can edit the test results by simply using photoshop or other editing software,” Evangelista warned.
In contrast with “real time” data uploads where the transmission of the test result to the LTO’s computer systems is done immediately, the new “batch upload” scheme allows the storage of data for up to 24 hours before it is transmitted to the LTO.
“We appeal to Secretary Roxas and incoming Secretary [Joseph Emilio] Abaya to recall and withdraw or, at the very least, hold in abeyance the implementation of Department Order No. 2012-10 pending the conduct of further reviews, public hearings and technical studies by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and private sector stakeholders,” Evangelista said.
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