By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has joined the Inter-Agency Council for Traffic (I-ACT) to help address traffic congestion and go after dilapidated and smoke belching vehicles in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.
DENR will take part in the council’s “Tanggal Bulok, Tanggal Usok” campaign through its own anti-smoke belching program.
Undersecretary for Field Operations-Luzon and DENR Task Force Metro Manila head Juan Miguel Cuna will lead the DENR contingent to the I-ACT.
He will be joined by members of the Anti-Smoke Belching Unit of the DENR’s Environmental Management Bureau (EMB).
DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu said the agency was more than willing to lend to the council its expertise and experience in the crackdown against smoke belchers.
“The DENR joins other government agencies in the effort to not only rid our already clogged streets with vehicles that are not road worthy, but are also persistent air pollutants,” Cimatu said.
He noted that the DENR Task Force Metro Manila has the equipment and manpower to conduct smoke emission tests.
“This capability improves the standard I-ACT practice of issuing subpoenas to sub-stantard vehicles prior to testing,” Cimatu said.
The task force has been conducting roadside smoke emission tests on old and poorly maintained vehicles.
The test makes use of an opacimeter or opacity meter to measure the thickness of smoke emission. Vehicles that fail to meet the emission standards are issued traffic violation receipts outright.
A recent EMB study showed that around 80 percent of air pollution comes from motor vehicles, while 20 percent comes from stationary sources, including factory smoke stacks and open burning.