MANILA, Philippines -- The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has issued stricter guidelines for vehicular emissions to reduce air pollution in Metro Manila.
Environment Secretary Ramon Paje said he issued the order in reaction to a study showing that air quality in Metro Manila has become a health hazard.
Citing a 2007 World Bank report, the DENR says that 18 million Filipinos are exposed to air pollution, with corresponding health expenditures and lost income amounting to P7.6 billion a year.
Motor vehicles, according to Paje said, are the main polluters in the city.
?The quality of air in Metro Manila remains not within the standard set by the government,? Paje said.
?We need to bring down to a healthier level the amount of smoke and dust particles suspended in the air, and we believe that the best way to do this is to improve the emissions of motor vehicles because they contribute at least 80 percent to the pollution load,? he added.
To curb air pollution, the DENR has issued Administrative Order (DAO) No. 2010-23, clarifying the numerical emission limits for passenger vehicles and light duty vehicles. It also includes limit values for vehicles fitted with diesel engines of the direct injection type until January 1, 2011.
The new rules also require passenger and light vehicles (less than 3,500 kilograms of gross vehicular weight) that will be introduced in the market by January 1, 2016 to comply with Euro 4 emission limits subject to Euro IV fuel availability.
Limit values consider amounts of carbon monoxide, particulates, hydrocarbons and oxides of nitrogen in exhaust emissions of vehicles in relation to vehicle mass and category, the DENR said.
Paje has announced that the DENR would lessen air pollution in the metropolis by 2011 to raise the quality of life in the city.
According to the DENR, the total suspended particles (TSPs) in the city averaged at 130 micrograms per normal cubic meter (ug/Ncm). The acceptable TSP is 90 ug/Ncm.
?The DENR is bent on reducing by 30 percent the air pollution in Metro Manila in 2011. We want to achieve a substantial improvement on air quality for the health, safety and welfare of the general public,? he said.