by Glynda Bathan, Policy and Partnership Manager
Last 7 September 2010, the Philippine Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) mandated emission limits for new motor vehicles.
The DENR administrative order states that "Starting January 01, 2016, all new passenger and light duty motor vehicle types to be introduced in the market shall comply with EURO 4 emission limits subject to EURO IV fuel availability." Since January 1, 2008, all new motor vehicles introduced in the Philippines were required to meet Euro 2 emission limits. While the Department of Transportation and Communications and the Land Transportation Office are developing their capability to conduct type approval system tests, the government relies on previous emission test results of pre-production engine vehicle type duly certified by the manufacturer.
This regulation was released almost 10 months after stakeholders discussed an action plan for moving from the current Euro 2 to Euro 4 standards at the National Workshop for Clean Fuels and Vehicles on November 16, 2009 in Manila organized by the Department of Energy, Clean Air Initiative for Asian Cities (CAI-Asia) and the Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles (PCFV) (see Philippines National Workshop on Clean Fuels and Vehicles (2009)).
While it is good that a decision has been made to allow only cleaner vehicles to be sold in the country, an implementation date earlier than 2016 would have been more desirable. The timing for introducing vehicle emission standards is critical as it takes about 15 years to completely replace in-use vehicles with cleaner ones; the sooner they are put in place, the sooner the vehicle replacement process can start.
An important next step is for the Philippine government to issue Euro 4 fuel specifications. This would be in line with the recommendations of the “Road Map for Cleaner Fuels and Vehicles in Asia” which strongly encourages Asian countries to develop national plans with clear timelines to introduce fuel and vehicle standards so that the oil and vehicle industries can sufficiently plan for the investments needed to comply with the new standards.
See Road Map for Cleaner Fuels and Vehicles for Asia