A LEGISLATOR has called for an investigation into the long delays experienced by vehicle owners when applying for emissions tests.
In House Resolution 742, Representative Rufus B. Rodriguez of Cagayan de Oro said he has been receiving complaints about delays of up to two weeks due to the lack of emission testing centers accredited by the Department of Transportation (DoTr) and the Land Transportation Office (LTO).
“The DoTr and the LTO are penalizing car owners for these agencies’ failure to accredit a sufficient number of emission test centers that are easily accessible to the public,” he said in a statement Wednesday.
Mr. Rodriguez said in Cagayan de Oro City, “complaints have been piling up because… owners of motor vehicles have to line up very early in the morning for four to five hours in order to get a number.”
“After getting their numbers, they wait to be called for an appointment for their emission test, which is at least two weeks away. This results in the owners having to pay penalties for late registration of their vehicles,” he said.
In some instances, he said accredited test centers are inconveniently located, forcing owners to travel long distances to comply with the emissions testing requirement.
He said under Republic Act No. 8749, or the Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999, the DoTr is required to implement emission standards for motor vehicles and to authorize a sufficient number of testing facilities.
“As a result of the law, private emission testing centers (PETCs) were put up. However, the DoTr has been shutting down PETCs for violating the law and falsifying test results, allowing car owners to still register their vehicles even if their vehicles fail to pass the emission standards,” he said.
He said the DoTr and the LTO should “find a way to accredit more legitimate PETCs to ensure strict compliance with the law.”
Mr. Rodriguez cited a report by the newly-formed Clear Air Movement of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI), an association of test center operators, that 70% of the 1,819 authorized emission test centers nationwide have been shut down due to violations.
“The closure of these PETCs hit some areas of the country harder, forcing motor vehicle owners to go out of their way and spend more to travel to other centers tens of kilometers away,” he said.
Asked to comment, LTO had yet to respond at deadline time.
House Resolution 742 was filed with the committee on rules on March 3. — Genshen L. Espedido