DOTC urged to recall order relaxing emission standards

by Alvin Elchico, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 16 2012 06:06 PM | Updated as of Oct 17 2012 02:06 AM

MANILA, Philippines - An environmentalist group has appealed to the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) to recall an order relaxing emission standards for vehicles. 

ANI Kalikasan in an interview said a new department order issued by then Transportation Secretary Mar Roxas exludes carbon dioxide and oxygen from the list of emissions to be monitored before vehicles are registered. 

The group says the move is like going back to 2004 standards where only 2 hazardous gases namely hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide are tested from vehicle emissions.

According to ANI Kalikasan, this will lead to more pollutants in the air since carbon dioxide is the top air pollutant. 

The group wondered why there was a change of heart on the side of the DOTC when in 2005, the country has already included 4 gases in the vehicle emission test which is compliant with Euro4 standards. 

In a phone interview, Land Transportation Office chief Virginia Torres said the new department order will only take effect on October 26 after the 15-day publication period. 

When asked why there are only 2 hazardous gases left on the emission test, Torres said this is based on DENR standards, which according to her only listed hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide as gases to be tested from vehicle emissions. 

Incoming Transportation Secretary Jun Abaya did not answer questions thru text. The DOTC public information officer also did not answer calls.