As bad as traffic has become due to the steady rise in auto sales annually, there is also another problem that’s getting worse due to vehicular emissions.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has announced that it will employ stricter measures in air quality monitoring and assessment, especially in Metro Manila, because of the amount of particulate matter emitted into the ambient air causing pollution and other related health issues.

“The increase in purchasing vehicles is one of the reasons why we have to become stricter in monitoring the air quality and the smoke emissions,” said DENR Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje.

Last year, the local automotive industry hit a record-high of 323,928 total units in cumulative vehicle sales beating the record in 2014 by more than 50,000.

According to the DENR, 70- to 80-percent of air pollution of Metro Manila comes from vehicle emissions.

In order to increase the agency’s monitoring efforts the, DENR – through its Environmental Management Bureau – has installed air quality monitoring stations in all of the 17 local government units in Metro Manila.

“These monitoring stations broadcast real time values of ambient air quality over the National Capital Region. The values from the monitoring stations are reported in comparison with the national air quality guidelines for health,” added Paje.