The Cordillera office of the Land Transportation office (LTO-CAR) disclosed that there are only thirteen private emission testing centers (PETCs) that are operational in the region.
LTO-CAR regional director Francis Ray Almora claimed that from 29 PETCs that have been earlier allowed to operate, 9 were revoked, 5 were closed, 1 was suspended and 1 is still not operational pending the renewal of its permit from the central office.
He explained that the PETCs whose permits were revoked were found to have repeated violations on motor vehicles that appear to have been subjected to the required smoke emission test but did not actually undergo the said test, while those that were closed have pending similar violations that are now undergoing investigation.
On the other hand, the LTO-CAR official claimed that the PETC that was suspended has some lighter violations and that this is undergoing similar investigation on whether or not its permit will be revoked.
He admitted that the revocation of the permits and the closure of some PETCs in the different parts of the region is causing problems among motorists wanting to renew the registration of their motor vehicles as there are delays in the conduct of smoke emission tests due to the limited number of PETCs that are operational.
At present, Benguet has still 4 PETCs that are operational followed by Baguio and Ifugao with 3 PETCs, and Abra, Apayao and Mountain Province with 1 PETC each. Kalinga has no PETC that is operational after the 2 previously operational PETCs had been revoked for serious violations.
Of the 29 PETCs, Benguet had the highest number with 8 followed by Baguio with 7, Ifugao – 5, Abra – 3, and Apayao, Kalinga and Mountain province with 2 each.
Baguio had the highest number of PETCs whose permits were revoked with 3 followed by Benguet and Kalinga with 2 each while Abra and Ifugao had 1 PETC each that were revoked.
Almora urged motorists to bear with the temporary delays in the conduct of smoke emission testing because of the limited number of operational PETCs as the agency is trying to instill discipline among its partners in the registration of motor vehicles to ensure the compliance of the emission of vehicles to the standards provided for under the Philippine Clean Air Act.
He also warned operators of smoke emission testing centers that continue to grossly violate existing laws, rules and regulations that they have no place on the community as they are reportedly trying to create more problems for the motorists and the environment.
Almora assured that the LTO-CAR will remain consistent in the monitoring of the operation of PETCs as the government wants the emission of registered motor vehicles to comply with international standards to help in the overall preservation and protection of the environment.
Amora added that the LTO might be opening the accreditation of other interested operators of PETC in areas that have centers whose permits were revoked.