BAGUIO CITY – The Baguio-La Trinidad-Itogon-Sablan-Tuba-Tublay (BLISTT) Governing Board ordered regional and provincial line agencies and local governments to submit an inventory of government and private motor vehicles being used by their officials and employees to ascertain the existing number of vehicles within the area and to guide policy makers and decision makers in the formulation of programs, projects ad activities to help in reducing the volume of pollutants in the environment.
Further, the BLISTT Governing Board also directed local governments to submit their plans on the enactment of their own clean air ordinances and for the enactment of legislations covering the implementation of carless days in their areas of jurisdiction.
The board also requested local governments, agencies, instrumentalities and state universities and colleges implementing carless days in their offices to submit a detailed report on the effects of the implementation of the said measure for the better appreciation of other local governments and agencies that have yet to put in place their carless days.
The BLISTT Governing Board is composed of local government units, regional directors of regional line agencies and officials of instrumentalities and SUCs in the BLISTT area.
Initially, the local governments that started implementing carless days in their municipal compounds are La Trinidad and Sablan while the agencies and SUCs that started doing so include the Cordillera offices of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Environmental Management Bureau (EMB-CAR), Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB-CAR) University of the Philippines College Baguio (UPCB) and the Benguet State University (BSU).
Baguio City started the implementation of carless day within the city hall premises every Monday but local legislators decided to stop the implementation of the same because of the alleged inconveniences that it caused them and to the public transacting business with the local government offices.
The BLISTT Governing Board was presided by EMB-CAR Regional Director Maria Victoria Abrera who underscored the importance of reviewing the implementation of carless days in the different parts of the BLISTT and assess the innovations that could be introduced to convince more people to comply with the implementation of carless days beneficial in contributing to efforts in reducing pollutants in the environment.
Local governments are mandated to enact local versions of the provisions of the Clean Air Act to help in the formulation of efforts to reduce the pollutants I the air considering that one of the identified sources of pollution in the air is the bad smoke emitted by motor vehicles.
Baguio City is the only local government that was able to enact a local version of the Clean Air Act which is now being aggressively implemented by personnel of the City Environment and Parks Management Office (CEPMO), particularly in the conduct of the roadside inspection, testing, monitoring and assessment of all motor vehicles plying the major roads of the city to ascertain whether or not such motor vehicles are emitting smoke pursuant to the standards prescribed under existing laws, rules and regulations that were crafted for the said purpose The BLISTT Governing Board holds its meeting on a quarterly basis to assess the implementation of programs, projects and activities concerning the growth and development of the BLISTT.
By Dexter A. See
Banner photo by Armando M. Bolislis