BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera office of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB-CAR) expressed support to the immediate passage of a proposed idling ordinance authored by Councilor Leandro B. Yangot, Jr. because it will significantly contribute in efforts to reduce the pollutants in the air that result to fair air quality in certain congested areas in the city.
EMB-CAR regional director Reynaldo S. Digamo pointed out the idling motor vehicles stationed in various parts of the city contribute to the increase in the bad smoke emissions from the said vehicles which had been previously identified as one of the major pollutants in the city’s air.
He explained that idling motor vehicles continue to emit smoke. The continuous presence of smoke being emitted from the said vehicles result to the increase in polluted air, especially in the areas where the idling vehicles are situated. The best option that should be embraced by motorists is for them to turn off their engines when not in actual use.
Earlier, the City Council approved on first reading the proposed idling measure in the city during its regular session last Monday.
The ordinance 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 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.
By Dexter A. See