DAET, Camarines Norte, Feb. 25 (PNA) -- With an injunction order against operating an emission testing center, the provincial government of Camarines Norte has asked the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to help vehicle owners here to get emission testing as there are only two emission testing centers in the 12-town province.
On Monday, LTO Regional Director Noreen San Luis Lutey officially launched the E-Patrol, a mobile module unit manned by LTO personnel providing services for permit renewal of vehicles and driver’s licenses, including emission testing.
Lutey said she pushed through with the deployment of E-Patrol in Camarines Norte despite an injunction order from the court granted to an emission-test center owner who blocked the move of the provincial government to operate emission center.
Camarines Norte Governor Edgar Tallado said the provincial government is not daunted by the case filed against them at the Office of the Ombudsman because of the move to open and operate an emission center that will cater to vehicle owners.
He said they will push through with an additional emission center to avoid monopoly control of the emission testing in the province that has been detrimental to the interest of vehicle owners.
Tallado said five board members who are known allies of former representative Renato Jalgalado Unico Jr. and first cousin of now Rep. Cathy Jalgalado Barcelona-Reyes opposed the move of the provincial government to operate emission testing center.
Unico and the Barcelona families are political adversaries of Tallado in the last elections and the governor claimed that one of the two emission centers in Camarines Norte is owned by Wilma Jalgalado Barcelona, mother to Barcelona-Reyes.
Lutey said there are only two emission centers in Camarines Norte since 2004 when the number of vehicles in the province was only 4,000 vehicles and now the number has grown to 34,000.
She said the Camarines Norte provincial officials headed by Tallado have been very persistent in asking the LTO to resolve the problem of inadequate number of emission centers that resulted in the delay of vehicle testing emission and issuance of emission certificates.
“Even with the pending case, we have to do what is right,” Lutey said, referring to the operation of emission testing under the E-Patrol unit that will go around Camarines Norte province.
She said the deployment of E-Patrol that provides emission testing would now solve the problem in Camarines Norte of having the biggest number of vehicle owners who were fined for late registration last year. The emission testing certificate is a requirement for the renewal of vehicle registration at the LTO, she added.
Lutey said the emission testing of E-Patrol will be operated by a private entity and the rate will be lower than the Php450/vehicle, which is the present fee asked by two emission testing centers in the province.
She said the advantage of having more emission testing centers like Naga City, which has more than 20 at present is that the service becomes efficient where clients are even being offered coffee.
Lutey said the E-Patrol will remain deployed in Camarines Norte for as long as it is needed.
Edel Santiago, president of the Federation of Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association of Camarines Norte, said the arrival of the E-Patrol that provides emission testing service to the vehicles gave them relief.
Santiago said it takes them a month or more to get schedule for vehicle emission testing which causes them to be late in filing for the renewal of permit. (PNA) LAP/FGS/JME/CBD