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Roadside MAC Testing

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The Environmental Management Bureau (EMB)-IX, in coordination with the Land Transportation Office (LTO)-IX, TESDA-IX and DTI-IX, conducted a random vehicle roadside MAC (Mobile Air Condition)  testing last August 27, 2013 at the Maria Clara Lobregat Highway near the San Bernardino bridge. Three years ago, the Philippine government implemented the total phase-out of Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) as scheduled in our National CFC Phase-out Plan. CFC importation like the “R-12” freon, a chemical substance that destroys the ozone layer and is used as refrigerant in the air-conditioning system, is no longer allowed by the DENR and the Bureau of Customs. An alternative substance to R-12 is the R134a which is considered ozone-friendly and is widely used by most vehicles nowadays.

The purpose of the MAC testing is to check whether R-12 is still prevalently used. Although the government has totally prohibited its importation, the remaining R-12 that is already in the country before the ban was implemented are allowed to use by air-con service shops until such time it is expended and will no longer be commercially available. Another reason for conducting the testing is to inform and educate vehicle owners of the dangers of releasing R-12 in the atmosphere when they convert their air-con units to R134a. Some service shops do not have the recovery machines to reclaim the R-12. Vehicle owners are not even aware that their new air-con units which are supposed to be fed with R134a, are being filled with the cheaper R-12 (back conversion) but are being charged with the price of R134a. The vehicle’s air-con can also be compromised since R-12 freon was not designed for R134a units. Finally, the composite team coming from different government agencies conducting the testing would like to inform the public that the activity was not to apprehend vehicle owners which still use R-12 but to monitor compliance and educate about the health effects of ozone-depleting substances. (rsgiron-EMB-9)




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