Diesel-powered motor vehicles blamed for most of PH’s air pollution


The government plans to modify the diesel engines of jeepneys and other public utility vehicles (PUVs) plying Metro Manila streets in a bid to reduce soot or “black carbon” emissions. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—More than 500,000 diesel-fueled jeepneys, buses, trucks and other vehicles in Metro Manila are responsible for about 70 percent of the total soot or black carbon emissions in the Philippines, according to Climate Change Commissioner Heherson Alvarez.

In a speech before the just-ended 2013 Sustainable Development Summit in New Delhi, a copy of which was furnished to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Alvarez also reported that “public utility vehicles, mostly jeepneys, produce 22,000 metric tons of soot emissions per year” in the country.

The conference was held from Jan. 31 to Feb. 2 in the Indian capital.

Citing Philippine Environment Monitor figures, the former senator and environment secretary noted that “air pollution costs the Philippine economy some $1.5 billion annually, in large part due to diesel vehicles.”

“The World Bank estimates that some 5,000 annual premature deaths make up 12 percent of all deaths in Metro Manila, the highest of any region in the Philippines, due primarily to respiratory and cardiovascular diseases from exposure to air pollution,” he said.

Alvarez said “the country spends over $400 million in direct costs annually — about 0.6 percent of GDP — on health expenses caused by pollution.”

But there is good news, he said. “The Philippine government is inaugurating this year the CCC’s Black Carbon Project.”

“The goal is to modify some 500,000 Metro Manila jeepney and bus engines over a five-year period in order to reduce their black soot emissions,” he said.

Black carbon, he said, “has a climate change effect several thousand times that of carbon dioxide. Fortunately, unlike CO2, the mitigation of black carbon is easy to do. Simply fix the engine so that it burns diesel fuel efficiently at the right fuel-air mixture.”

According to Alvarez, “total investment in the project is estimated at $615 million,” to be sourced mainly from international private sector.

“Using current global warming potential conversion rates, soot emissions from 500,000 jeepneys will be reduced by 80 percent. This will result in the equivalent of at least 25 million metric tons of CO2 reduction. For comparison, this represents nearly 17 percent of the current Kyoto Greenhouse Gas Inventory for the Philippines of 150 million metric tons,” he said.

Earlier, the Climate Change Commission cited a recent scientific study pointing to black carbon as the “second most important, but previously overlooked factor in global warming.”

Studies showed that reducing soot emissions from diesel engines could slow the melting of glaciers in the Arctic more effectively and more economically than any other quick fix, the body said.

It also said that “if governments radically cut levels of black carbon and methane through technologies that are now available, then we could cut the rate of global warming by at least 50 percent.”

This would increase the chance of keeping temperatures rise below 2 degrees Celsius, thereby slowing the advance of climate change by several decades, the CCC added.

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  • Horst Manure

    Overhauling the injector’s  when they are due would be step one as well as changing /cleaning Filters.

  • milespacker

    Not only that, jeepneys, buses, trucks also cause about 70% of traffic snarls on our streets – especially jeepneys. 

  • KurakotNaPinoy

    The “Clean Air Act” is ineffective. Proof lies in the proliferation of public utility vehicles that fail the air quality tests set by the government.

    • buttones

      The “Clean Air Act” is ineffective” Yes I agree, there is a better adjective than “ineffective’’ – but this being a family newspaper ’an all better not to say…..

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/AND7MQ5FERICDOIAUW56RYT45A tower_of_power

    DOTC and/or LTFRB are likewise to blame for not enforcing strict inspection of motor vehicles. Modern diesel engines are clean … only the inspectors and law enforcers (most of them) are “UNCLEAN” … their hands are FULL OF GREASE!!!!

    • tskpinas

      Modern diesel engines burns cleaner than petrol and consume less. 

      Once I was offered “non appearance” to inspect my mom’s car in Manila… how can they test if there is no car? Only in the Philippines.

  • Komen To

    Poor Alvarez, you relied too much on your stupid researchers. Modern diesel engines are clean. The culprit are your emission testing centers who pass old vehicles, both gas and diesel. Try registering vehicle yourself so you would know the facts straight. Emmission Testing Centers are like Drug Testing Centers that are created to collect money, with no benefit at all.

    • bagombong

      you are right, kahit maglagay ka sa emission just to pass your car..ok lang pero dapat di sila makakaligtas sa mata ng mga traffic law enforcers if they are really strict in enforcing smoke belching law..even they show them there papers that they pass the emission test..they will take the papers and knows who did the test and take the car to other inspection and if they really pass , well they won’t pay for the test..if they failed, impound it.  that’s it..

    • Noel Rivas

      Modern diesels are clean..correct..pero sino lang nagbebenta ng Euro III/IV? Unioil? SeaOil? Eastern Petroleum? Na halos Manila lang meron…yun big 3 maduming diesel pa rin ang tinda as the the govts mandate for them to comply is 2016 pa..

  • bugoybanggers

    Hindi mo masisisi ang mga iyan.. bakit mayaman ba ang PILIPINAS? Kaya ba ipatanggal ang mga DIESEL POWERED VEHICLE eh nagtitipid na nga dahil sa kahirapan.

  • http://www.facebook.com/felimon.o.rodriguez Felimon Rodriguez Jr.

    i agree with some bloggers here…DOTC with its sub-units (LTFRB and LTO) are to blame much on this phenomenon. LTFRB keeps on giving franchises to buses that are decades old already…as well as to jeepneys with surplus old motor engines…worsts, drivers of these PUVs are not disciplined and yet they are being issued drivers licenses by the LTO….they really drive like “Kings of the Roads”! the result is disorderly road conditions full of black smokes….

  • buttones

    What happened to all this wonderful ideas about electric vehicles? [nothing] What happened to the focus of bio fuels? [nothing] What about a program of phasing out all these independent gas guzzling dinosaurs in favor of efficient public transport? They tell me we are sat on trillions of cubic meters of natural gas [well that is what I am told] The emissions on efficient diesel engines are about the same as gasoline, [both of course are filthy]Not only that, private operators have no interest in running ‘clean’ vehicles anyway- that costs money, and government has little influence. The report is glaringly obvious, and surprise, surprise this has been going on for years- and even more surprising NOT EVEN THE EXPERTS NOTICED! OMG!

  • sondo1968

    gumamit kayo ng 2T !!!

    • indiosbravos2002

      This will work on old engines only. Pero this will help sa mga jeep na lumang luma na makina

  • bagombong

    Alam nyo, hindi naman bobo ang mga namamahala , alam nila na ang Pinas ay isa sa mga bansang pinakarumi pagdating sa polution…alam nila yan…may meron din batas na hindi puwedeng tumakbo sa kalsada ang mga sasakyan hind pumasa sa emissions, ang tanong sino ba ang dapat mag-implement ang mga batas yan, may ginagawa ba sila….dito sa Amerika, every 2 yrs. ang emissions, meron kang matatanggap na sulat para ipa-emission mo ang sasakyan mo…pag-di ka nag-show-up…lahat ng computers na related sa mga police mailalagay ang plate no. at violation mo at ito ay malalaman lahat ng mga police, pag-nakita nila ang sasakyan mo..you will be stop and given a ticket at bibigyan ka ng date na deadline to fix your violation..pag-di sumunod they will cancel your plate no. or impound your car….walang nakakalusot dito na sasakyan pagdating sa emission..ang sasakyan na tumatakbo at makita ng police ang usok na ibinubiga…they will stop you…nagtatanga-tangahan ang mga awtoridad kasi sila puro de-aircon nakatulog..

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5STEU22AD7YRHQSB6RE56ZDSYA J

    Ang govt din ang may kasalanan naman niyan. Pinayagan mag-import ng used engines at walang control para maisaayos na mabuti bago gamitin. Walang certification system upang ma-determine na ang engine ay maayos. Basta lang iaasemble ng un-certified mechanic at ayos na.

    Ang diesel engine ay mas mataas ang thermal efficiency kesa gasoline. Ibig sabihin sa bawat litro ng diesel mas malayo ang mararating kumpara sa gasolina asuuming na pareho ang laki ng makina. Kahit hindi mausok ang de-gasolina hindi ibig sabihin e mas malinis ang usok nito. 

    Dapat lang na ang PUV jeep at mga delivery trucks engines ay ma-overhaul once or twice a year. Dapat ibalik ang thermostat ng makina para may control ang temperature nito. Ang problema inaalis ang thermostat na ito at tinatangal ang radiator caps upang maiwasan DAW ang overheating. Normal na practice ay walang coolant ang radiator. Napupuno ng kalawang (scales) ang radiator galing sa tubig at sanhi nito ay overheat na siyang sisira sa langis at piston rings.Ang isa pang problema ay ang quality ng diesel fuel natin kumpara sa US o Europe.

    Isa pang paraan upang lalung tumaas ang efficiency ng diesel engine ay i-preheat ang fuel gamit ang maiinit na tubig ng radiator. Halimbawa ang temperatura ng tubig sa radiator ay aabot ng 100 degrees, pwede ipreheat ang diesel fuel ng hangang 80 degrees. Mas mataas ang temperature mas maganda ang pag-apoy nito.

    Sa ano mang situation dapat maganda ang maintenance ng sasakyan upang ito ay laging nasa good condition. Kahit na gumastos ang govt sa pag-upgrade ng diesel engine pero wala namang tamang practice ng good maintenance wala ding mangyayari dahil pagkaaraan ng isang taon balik uli sa dati ang mausok na diesel engines.

  • kismaytami

    Asa pa. Eh mga red plates nga mismo, nagi-smoke belching. At ang masipag na gobyerno, pinasa lang sa mga private emission testing center ang certification. Eh pera-pera lang naman yang mga emission testing center.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GG4T5UNZ3P7SCHSRNJ7PF5JZMM Jimmy

    Mahina ka rin alvarez..! Bakit hindi mo tingnan yong mga nakatira sa tabi ng mga estero, ilog, lawa at dagat na walang patumangga sa pagtatapon ng dumi sa kapaligiran…!!! Isama mo na rin diyan ang mga mag-uuling, illegal loggers, iskwaters, illegal miners at mga gumagamit ng pesticides..!!! Sila ang mga pangunahing bumababoy sa ating kapaligiran…!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!??? 

  • rodben

    Ang mga LATAK O MARUMING LANGIS galing sa Middle East, 1st world countries and 2nd world countries ay ipinagbibinta sa mga third world countries kasama na Pinas, dahil yan lang ang kayang bilhin ng masa, ang tanong kong first class gas ang ipagagamit ng kasalukuyang propagandist na gobyerno sa mga sasakyan sa Pinas maybibili pa kya ng kotse sa Pinas (pwera politiko at elitesta ) sa subrang mahal ng gas na to? Na tanging OFW lang ang karamihang kya bumili ng sasakyan. Sa ibang bansa ok lang na first class ang gas dahil malaki ang sahod ng manggagawa doon at may control ang gobyerno sa gas.

  • WarOfSelf

    Is there a yearly testing of vehicles for mechanical soundness and emissions? For example the MOT tests in the UK whereby any vehicle that will fail the test will have to be fixed, otherwise it is illegal to drive vehicles that haven’t passed on the road.

  • oh_noh

    mr. alvarez, have you ever asked yourself, how come these “old” diesel-powered motor vehicles are still plying all over the country?

    *simply st*pid* blame it to the concerned agencies/people, the system… not to the machine!

    and what, approx. PHP 50,000 per jeep/bus? they’ll just “fully certify” at PHP 10,000 (without anything modified), a clear PHP 40,000 each in the pocket… and the dirty air remains and even worse!!!

    cheers to a strong economy – in paper!

  • Nic Legaspi

    Not only that. LOTS of jeepneys plying the SAME route while containing no passengers are a common sight in Metro Manila. We desperately need a PUV dispatch scheme.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/NRLFHB4ZOMCNGDUJ2ZINRV7DAQ Juan

    I dare him to drive on gasoline for an hour just to cross a 5km distance. And mind him that the major move of the government is not to build new roads and organize the public transport service but to upgrade the EDSA corcrete. 

  • tra6Gpeche

    Filipinos in the Philippines
    do not love and respect their environment. They don’t give a hoot if their
    surrounding is filthy and plagued with deadly bacterium. They throw their
    garbage anywhere. Most Filipino males will urinate anywhere and the squatter
    colonies don’t even have toilet. They use the Pasig
    River as their day to day latrine. The
    Jeepney and the Bus drivers are all unmindful of the poison coming out of their
    vehicles. How did we become so irresponsible and undisciplined?


    • http://profile.yahoo.com/BXBYZ5EB467UVJRXK4IOM5BX4Y Todd

      I urinate in my backyard at home and on the ground at work when it’s convenient.

      • tra6Gpeche

        Good for you, kabayan. I hope your children, your neighbors, your co-workers and your grandchildren see you to emulate your honesty and “excellent” nature and habit!

  • $26606290

    Nope. The govt is to blame for allowing these vehicles to continue belching smoke?

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