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MMDA: 35 of 100 buses fail emission test

By: Anna Liza Villas-Alavaren

Thirty-five percent of public utility buses plying in Metro Manila roads have failed the anti-smoke belching emission test conducted by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), contributing to air pollution in the metropolis.

From 3,982 passenger buses subjected to emission testing from January to June, 1,476 buses have failed the test while 2506 buses have failed.

Loida Alzona, head of the MMDA’s health, public safety and environmental protection, said majority of those who fail the test are ordinary or non-air conditioned buses.

The emission testing are held for free at the Bus Dispatch Management System located in Fairview in Quezon City; Oliveros in Paranaque City and Southwest Integrated Provincial Terminal (SWIPT).

“Buses emitting thick and black smoke that fail the test are prevented from hitting the roads until they fix their engines,” said Alzona.

The anti-smoke belching operation is in line with the Republic Act 8749 or the Philippine Clean Air Act. Buses are subjected to a smoke meter test to determine the level of smoke emission based on standards set by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Alzona said the agency previously conducts roadside emission testing. However, the lack of impounding space for violators hampers their operation.

“In the previous years, anti-smoke belching enforcers remove plates of vehicles that fail the test. However, the Land Transportation Office issued a directive that plates can no longer be removed but be impounded,” said Alzona.