Issue of June 9, 2019
Mt. Province

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Private-owned vehicles top list of smoke belchers in Baguio
by PIO release

The City Legal Office (CLO) reported that most of the motor vehicles that had been apprehended for violation of the city’s Anti-Smoke belching Ordinance for the first five months of the year are privately-owned.

City Legal Officer Melchor Carlos Rabanes said that out of the 71 license plates that have been turned over to the office for safekeeping, 41 are that of private vehicles, 13 are public utility jeepneys, 12 taxis, and five are government vehicles.

He said that the government vehicles that were apprehended are not owned by the city government but by other agencies.

Based on the Anti-Smoke belching Ordinance that was crafted in 2008, the CLO is the repository of the license plates that were confiscated by personnel of the city’s roadside inspection, testing, and monitoring action team.

Rabanes said the CLO does not release the license plates until the owners have paid the fines together with a proof that the vehicle passed the smoke test.

Violators are fined P1,200 on first offense; P3,200 on second offense; and P5,000 on third and succeeding offenses.

Rabanes said that the ordinance must be amended.

He said owners must ensure that their vehicles are properly maintained so they will not be apprehended.

Based on studies conducted by Environmental Bureau in coordination with the City Environment and Parks Management Office, the smoke emitted by motor vehicles has been identified as the primary pollutant in the city’s air, especially in the central business district.

The passage of the Anti-Smoke belching Ordinance was one of the recommendations of an inter-agency committee created to help in reducing the pollutants in the city’s air.

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