Smoke emission testing centers ordered to extend operation

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BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera office of the Land Transportation Office (LTO-CAR) ordered accredited private smoke-emission testing centers operating in Baguio City and Benguet to extend their operations to address the huge backlog created during the suspension of the registration of motor vehicles following the implementation of the Luzonwide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

LTO-CAR regional director Francis Ray Almora said that effective immediately, some emission testing centers should operate from 6 am to 7 pm including holidays and Saturdays to increase their required daily cap to address the backlog.

Earlier, complaints regarding the long lines in the different smoke emission testing centers have reached the LTO-CAR prompting the agency to inspect and review the processes leading to the decision to extended operations.

He stated that currently, there are 6 accredited smoke emission testing centers in the city, while only 4 smoke emission testing centers are based in Benguet catering to the some emission tests of nearly 70,000 private and public motor vehicles registered in the LTO district offices of the said places.

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The LTO-CAR official admitted there are some birth pains in the implementation of the extended operation of smoke emission testing centers in Baguio and Benguet but efforts are being done by the agency in coordination with the operators of the said centers to ensure smooth operations in the coming days.

According to him, most of the testing centers did meet their adjusted daily cap on the number of motor vehicles that must be tested when the extended operation was enforced but agency officials are confident that such problem will be addressed the soonest.

Director Almora disclosed that owners of motor vehicles for registration will no longer have to go to the some emission testing centers as early as 1 AM just to get a slot for smoke test because of the extended operations of the centers coupled with the increased in the number of vehicles that should be tested daily.

Under existing guidelines, motor vehicles to be registered with the LTO should first undergo the required smoke test from accredited smoke-emission testing centers before the processing of the registration by the concerned LTO district office.

Director Almora stated that the agency is doing its best to formulate the appropriate strategies that will ease the burden of vehicle owners in having to line up in the different smoke emission centers and LTO district offices due the backlog created during the implementation of the Luzonwide lockdown.

He assured individuals transacting in the different LTO offices that appropriate measures are being enforced to ensure their adherence to the established health and safety protocols aside from ensuring that the transactions of the public are being given the necessary attention in this time of the new normal.

By Hent
Photo by Armando M. Bolislis

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