Our lungs are feeling better just reading this. According to the Land Transportation Office’s (LTO) semi-annual report for 2018, fines and penalty collection for violating Republic Act 9749—better known as the nation’s Clean Air Act—is up by a significant margin this year.
Just how much has been collected from smoke belchers? A total of P6,729,200 for 2018—that’s a whopping 396% increase compared to the year prior (P1,356,000), and the government isn’t even done counting yet as the tally only covers the period from January to June.
In contrast, collections for violating the Seatbelt Use Act—the country’s most violated traffic law in 2018 so far—has amounted to P77,976,750 this year compared to P69,545,000 in 2017. That’s just a 12.12% increase. The second biggest jump in collections is for Axle Overloading: P40,463,428.10 in 2018 versus P11,819,378.25 in 2017—a 242% increase. It’s a very sizeable figure, but again, the improvement is nothing compared to the statistic mentioned in the headline.
Is this a sign that traffic agencies are finally beginning to take the environment seriously? Are we already reaping the benefits of the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) PUV Modernization Program? It’s still too early to tell, but we’re damn glad to see that something’s actually changed for the better this year.