Executives of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) are facing a complaint of graft and corruption filed by the Coalition of Clean Air Advocates of the Philippines (CCAAP) because of the worsening quality of air in Metro Manila.

Named in the complaint are LTO head Alfonso Tan and LTO management information division OIC Rector Antiga who is in charge of checking the validity of emission test results.

The 11-page complaint of the CCAAP cites the LTO’s failure in implementing the Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999 and curbing the trend of corruption in emission testing centers where the practice of the issuance of certificate of emission compliance (CEC) to ‘no-show’s is still allegedly prevalent.

“Massive graft and corruption in the motor vehicle emission testing process, [which is] under the control and supervision of the LTO, is a major reason why the air we all breathe is polluted,” said CCAAP chair Dr. Leo Olarte in a statement.

Dr. Olarte cited the Department of Environment and Natural Resources report stating that 80 percent of air pollution in the metropolis comes from motor vehicle emissions.

Zenaida Maranan, president of the Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines, stated that their members were asked to pay Php 500 at emission centers in order a CEC without having to bring their jeeps.

According to CCAAP president Jojo Buerano, they “sent LTO letters, gave them tips [and] lists of ‘no-show’ incidents but they did not act on it.”

Members of the CCAAP even accused the LTO of disallowing the use of software they donated to check abnormal emission center results falsified documents. 

LTO’s Tan countered by telling the Philippine Daily Inquirer that “our record against erring testing centers speaks for itself,” pointing to the fact that the agency has revoked the licenses of 77 centers and fined 300 others in order to fix alleged corrupt practices in emission test centers.

The CCAAP is asking the Ombudsman to place the respondents on preventive suspension.

Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer