Clean exhaust pipes the way to healthy air, says DENR
MANILA, Philippines–Clean your pipes.
Environment Secretary Ramon Paje on Monday appealed to vehicle owners to clean their exhaust pipes, noting that these contribute heavily to air pollution in Metro Manila.
Paje aired the appeal after the Department of Environment and Natural (DENR) Resources launched an intensified campaign against smoke belchers last week.
“We ask the public to cooperate with our efforts, especially [for] vehicle owners to have their vehicles undergo an honest-to-goodness emission test prior to renewing their registration. We all breathe the same air and all of us breathe air that is dirty,” Paje said.
The DENR chief noted that 80 percent of the emissions in Metro Manila come from vehicles.
Many of the vehicles that were flagged down by DENR and local authorities at the start of the campaign failed the emission test and had their license plates confiscated.
The seized plates can be retrieved from the city hall of the area where the emission test was conducted, subject to the payment of a fine and only after the vehicle passes another check.
According to Paje, the Aquino government is serious in improving air quality in urban centers, particularly in Metro Manila. It is also intent on disciplining erring vehicle owners and private emission testing centers (PETCs), he said.
The DENR and Land Transportation Office have already closed down at least 50 erring PETCs which were shown to have accepted payments from “no show” registrants in exchange for a certification that their vehicles had passed the emission test, Paje said.
“Along with reducing the TSP (total suspended particles) level of air pollution in Metro Manila, we are also keen on reducing smaller-sized pollutants because they pose higher risk on human health. PM10 (particles smaller than 10 microns) can get into our lungs and cause respiratory illnesses, while PM2.5 can get into the bloodstream and lead to cardiovascular diseases, even stroke,” he added.
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