BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading the proposed idling regulation ordinance in the city.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Leandro B. Yangot, Jr. stated the measure aims to safeguard and shield the public from particulate matter and other toxic cancer-causing air contaminants and to promote a healthy, livable and viable city for all.
The ordinance will cover all idling motor vehicles found in public places and properties that is open to the public.
The ordinance defined idling as when the motor vehicles are motionless but the engine is still running.
Under the proposed ordinance, no driver, while operating a motor vehicle within the territorial limits of the city, shall cause or allow the needless idling of said motor vehicle which is parked, standing or stopped, for a period longer than 3 minutes.
The ordinance shall not apply when a vehicle idles while forced to remain motionless due to traffic conditions; police, fire, ambulance, military or any vehicle used in an emergency situation; a vehicle idles due to repair works or as part of an official inspection to verify that said vehicle is in good working order and for the health or safety of a driver or passenger, including service animals, requires the vehicle to idle and when idling vehicles is necessary to accomplish work which the vehicle was designed.
The ordinance tasked the City Health Services Office to lead in the strict implementation of the measure and it shall be the duty of the implementing officer to prepare an annual report describing the progress in the implementation of the measure; coordinate with the City Public Information Office, City Environment and parks Management Office, the City Schools Division Office and the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) and other concerned agencies and non-government organizations for the necessary information and education campaign that will inform and enjoin the public to strictly observe the measure b and coordinate with relevant national government agencies, including the Department of Transportation Cordillera through the Land Transportation Offices another agencies for the implementation of the measure.
Violators of the pertinent provisions of the measure include a fine of P1,000 or community service for 3 days, a fine of P2,000 or community service of not less than 5 hours for the second offense and a fine of not less than P3,000 and community service of at least 10 days.
Yangot claimed that emissions from motor vehicles significantly contribute to air pollution and also contributes to the reported increase rates of cancer and heart and lung diseases which adversely affect the health, natural environment and economic wellbeing of people, guess and visitors of the city year round. In the local government’s desire to take a proactive position in the livability and viability of the city, either on its own or in partnership with similarly minded organizations, the ordinance asserted of the need for the city to continue educating the residents as well as foreign and local visitors of the dangers to health of the people and the environment caused by idling motor vehicles, especially idle-frequent locations such as school grounds, parking areas, the central business district, and loading and unloading zones and in fact, reducing, preventing and controlling needless vehicle idling is in keeping with the city’s promotion as an ecotourism destination.
By Dexter A. See