Tighter Regulations against Perceived Contributors to Air Pollution Sought

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By Brix Domondon

The Council Reports

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


IN WHAT is perceived as a more stringent measure aimed at decreasing air pollution in the environment the city council approved on first reading a proposed legislative measure filed by city councilor Leandro Yangot seeking to prohibit or ban motor vehicles that emit excessive smoke and fumes and are illegally operating along the roads and streets within the city of Baguio. The proposed ordinance also seeks the creation of a task force to implement the said regulation as well as the imposition of penalties for the violation thereof.
Councilor Yangot in his explanation for coming up with the said proposed ordinance cited Section 15 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution which provides that the state shall protect and promote the right to health of the people and instill health consciousness among them, as well as providing further that the State shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology. Likewise Yangot also cited in his proposal Section 16 of Republic Act 7160 otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991 which provides that every local government shall exercise the powers expressly granted, those necessarily implied therefrom, as well as powers necessary, appropriate, or incidental for its efficient and effective governance, and those which are essential to the promotion of the general welfare.

He further explained that motor vehicles cause a wide range of air pollution and are considered as major contributors to it. Yangot also bared that in a recent report from the World Health Organization (WHO), Baguio City was included in the top list of the most polluted cities in the country and that one of the major reasons for this is the presence of too many motor vehicles traversing the streets and roads of the city especially at the Central Business District (CBD) area.

The alderman also noted in his proposed measure that colorum vehicles, private vehicles for-hire, other public utility vehicles illegally operating in the city also add to the number of vehicles that contribute to air pollution in the city. He also stated in his proposal that these colorum vehicles, private vehicles for-hire, other public utility vehicles (PUV's) illegal operating in the city aside from contributing to air pollution are also deemed unsafe to the riding public considering that they are not covered by any insurance in the event of accidents. Also, these kinds of vehicles deprive legitimate drivers and operators from earning their just income from the transport business since these vehicles vie and compete for passengers and commuters, he further mentioned in his explanation.

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With the above, Councilor Yangot stated that his proposed legislative measure aims to lessen if not eradicate air pollution caused by motor vehicles roaming around the city of Baguio and, also provide ample assistance to the Office of the Department of Transportation and Communication - Cordillera Region (DOTC-CAR) in the campaign to eradicate colorum vehicles, private vehicles for-hire, and other public utility vehicles that are illegally operating in the city of Baguio.

After the said proposed ordinance was approved on first reading by the city council last Monday, it was referred to the appropriate committee for study and recommendation. Finally it is also to be noted that in 2008 the city council approved Ordinance Numbered 61 also known as the city's clean air act which augmented efforts by the city government to regulate vehicles plying the city and which cause too much smoke and fumes. The said city ordinance particularly in section 4 thereof provides that "all vehicles, whether public, private or government owned, found to be violating the emission standards set forth in Section 6 of this Ordinance, shall be prohibited from plying within the territorial jurisdiction of the City of Baguio".

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on July 02, 2014.

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