Amidst ECQ, GCQ Tugade orders LTO to intensify anti-smoke belching
CALOOCAN CITY, May 7 (PIA)–Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur P. Tugade instructed the Land Transportation Office-Philippines (LTO) to intensify and strictly implement anti-smoke belching initiatives, even as most parts of the country remain under the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), and the General Community Quarantine (GCQ).
Tugade tasked the LTO, together with concerned agencies, to strictly enforce Republic Act No.8749, also known as the Clean Air Act of 1999 and other relevant laws.
In an online meeting with the DOTr Road Sector on May 5, Secretary Tugade directed the LTO to ensure that vehicles on the country’s roads comply with the emission standards of the country.
“Dapat siguruhin natin na ang lahat ng mga sasakyan sa kalye ay sumusunod sa pamantayan,” Tugade said.
According to a recent study released by experts from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Institute of Environmental Science & Meteorology (IESM) at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, and Airtoday.ph, air quality in Metro Manila has improved significantly with the continued implementation of the ECQ. Majority of air pollution in the areas observed in the study come from vehicle emissions.
“Sayang naman ang pagbuti ng air quality, lalo na dito sa Metro Manila ngayong may ECQ, kung babalik lang din sa dati. Look at the aerial landscape now. It is very clean. It is very beautiful. Now, we can see from afar Corregidor and Bataan from Roxas Boulevard because of the very clear horizon,” Tugade said.
“You can see the Sierra Madre Mountain Range as a backdrop of Metro Manila. Our skyline is now smog-free and very beautiful. Napakagandang pagmasdan. Kaya nararapat lamang na maging bahagi ang magandang kalidad ng hangin ng ating ‘new normal,” Tugade pointed out.
For his part, LTO Assistant Secretary Edgar C. Galvante said that the agency will intensify its anti-smoke belching enforcement.
“Magbubuo kami ng mga hakbang upang mapalawig at mapaigting ang implementasyon laban sa smoke-belching, alinsunod sa direktiba ni Secretary Tugade,” the LTO Chief said.
“We will revisit the law and cite relevant provisions to intensify the implementation,” LTO Galvante added.
Health experts say that air pollution is one of the major causes of respiratory problems and other ailments. Persons with existing health problems, and therefore, with weak immune system, have a higher risk of contracting and difficulty in overcoming COVID-19. (DOTr/PIA-NCR)