March 3, 2024

Roadside vehicle smoke belching inspections continue in Baguio City in an aim to reduce air pollutants that adversely impacts health and the environment.

For January, 109 out of 192 vehicles flagged down randomly for smoke emission tests were issued citation tickets for failing the city’s Roadside Inspection Testing and Monitoring (RITM) standards.

Of the 109 vehicles that failed the emissions test, only 53 complied with the recommendations of the deputized personnel from the City Environment and Parks Management Office-Environmental Management Division to clean and maintain their vehicles.

Administrative Order 56, s. 2019 requires the conduct of voluntary emission tests daily from Monday to Sunday by the city’s RITM team with a P100 fee to be paid at the City Treasury Office.

Vehicles subject for testing will only be given two chances. If they still fail on the second test, they will be required to secure another volunteer testing fee to cover the testing expense.

A certification of voluntary testing (CVT) upon determination that the PUVs have passed emission levels will be issued and owners will be required to maintain their vehicles.

Holders of CVT will be exempted from roadside testing for two months for both the diesel and gas-fed engines.

However, those observed to still be emitting excessive smoke even within the two-month grace period will not be exempted from roadside tests. Those that fail will have their CVT cancelled but no item will be confiscated.

Vehicles issued warning will only be given seven days to repair, tune up or the preventive maintenance and non-compliance will mean automatic apprehension.

The CVT will only be revocable on any of the following circumstances: when another person uses the CVT for another vehicle; when the motor vehicle is seen to be emitting unusual volume of smoke, flagged down and upon roadside testing, its emission level has been determined to have exceeded emission standards of the Anti-Smoke Belching Ordinance; and when the CVT issued has been defaced, altered, or falsified.

The anti-smoke belching ordinance of the city provides a penalty of P1,000 for the first offense; P3,000 on second offense; and P5,000 on third offense. 

A recent study by the Clean Air Asia, an international non-governmental organization, revealed air pollutants in Baguio comprised 74 percent carbon monoxide emissions almost entirely from motor vehicle emissions.

With this, emission reduction measures are encouraged to be implemented by the city government, particularly the promotion of vehicle inspection and maintenance and enhancement of anti-smoke belching campaigns, among other recommendations. – Jessa Mardy P. Samidan