Air quality continues to get worse everyday as the number of smoke-belching vehicles plying the roads of Metro Manila continue to rise.

This has prompted the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to seek the end of registration of new private emission testing centers (PETCs) and also to stop the importation of engines that are non-Euro 4 compliant.

National anti-environmental crime task force chief and DENR Undersecretary Art Valdez has sought the help of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for the implementation of the above measure to improve the air quality in Metro Manila.

"Our air quality is still bad," said Valdez.

Valdez wants the government to implement a nationwide motor vehicle inspection and maintenance, which includes efficient emissions testing, to weed out smoke-belching units that are unfit for road use.

PETCs were intended to be a two-year stop-gap measure until the government procured the budget for nationwide program.

Instead of the planned 1 PETC for every 12,000 vehicles, there are now more than 1,490 PETCs in the country.

"Since there are many PETCs already, government must already cease registering new ones," noted Valdez.

Valdez is also seeking the end of the practice of ‘non-appearance.’

"Emission testing became a small industry - PETCs made money but motor vehicle emissions remain dirty so our air is still polluted," added Valdez.

To prevent the importation of non-Euro 4 compliant engines, Valdez wants the DTI to draw up guidelines to give the Bureau of Customs (BOC) power to block entry of engines that don’t comply with Euro 4 standards.

"Clean air's effect is just unbelievable as it covers all classes of society," said DENR Sec. Gina Lopez.