Close  

LTO sued for polluting Metro Manila

By: - Reporter / @jgamilINQ
/ 06:15 AM June 02, 2015

A multisectoral coalition composed mostly of environmental advocates and transport groups has sued the Land Transportation Office (LTO) over the worsening air pollution in Metro Manila.

On Monday, the Coalition of Clean Air Advocates of the Philippines (CCAAP) filed a complaint for graft in the Office of the Ombudsman against LTO chief Alfonso Tan and LTO management information division officer in charge Rector Antiga.

ADVERTISEMENT

Antiga was included in the lawsuit because his office—which was in charge of receiving all the emission tests results—did not double-check whether these were valid or had been falsified, the group said.

According to the CCAAP, the public officials failed to implement the Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999 and stop corruption in the motor vehicle emission testing process where even “no-shows” were  issued a certificate of emission compliance (CEC).

FEATURED STORIES

In their 11-page complaint, the coalition members asked the Ombudsman to place the respondents on preventive suspension.

“Massive graft and corruption in the motor vehicle emission testing process, [which is] under the control and supervision of the LTO, is a major reason why the air we all breathe is polluted,” CCAAP chair Dr. Leo Olarte said in a press statement.

According to him, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources has reported that 80 percent of air pollution in the metropolis comes from motor vehicle emissions.

Olarte said the worsening air pollution not only in Metro Manila but also around the country was a “threat to the health and life of our people.”

The total suspended particulates (TSP) level—the international standard measure for air pollution—has reached 145 micrograms per normal cubic meter (ug/Ncm) in Metro Manila when the World Health Organization has pegged the acceptable TSP level at just 90 ug/Ncm, he added.

In the same statement, Zenaida Maranan, president of the Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines, said they had members who were asked to pay P500 at emission centers in exchange for getting a CEC without having their vehicles checked.

Another complainant, Alliance of Concerned Transport Organizations president Efren de Luna, criticized Tan for “failing to stop the massive and corrupt non-appearance emission racket under his nose.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Another complainant in the graft case, CCAAP president Jojo Buerano, said that for more than a year, “we sent LTO letters, gave them tips [and] lists of ‘no-show’ incidents but they did not act on it.”

The coalition members said in their complaint that they even donated a computer software to detect anomalous emission center results and fake documents submitted to the LTO. However, the software “was disallowed and the checking discontinued,” raising suspicion that the agency itself may be profiting from the scam.

Sought for comment, Tan said he has yet to read the complaint “but I think our record against erring testing centers speaks for itself.”

In a text message to the Inquirer, Tan pointed out that he has so far revoked the licenses of 77 centers and fined 300 others compared to only 30 during his predecessor’s term.–With Deany Cheng, trainee

Read Next
EDITORS' PICK
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Air pollution, Alfonso Tan, CCAAP, Clean Air Act, Efren de Luna, emission tests, environment, Environmental Issues, Graft and Corruption, Health, Leo Olarte, LTO, Metro Manila, Ombudsman, Rector Antiga, Zenaida Maranan
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2020 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.