By Mortz C. Ortigoza
DAGUPAN CITY - Motor vehicle owners beware. The Land Transportation Office based in this city has now a refrigerant identifier gadget that could determine if a vehicle being registered or renewing its yearly registration still use the banned Chlorofluorocarbon-12, also known as R-12 Freon system.
According to Richard Agbayani, Assistant chief of LTO-Dagupan City, because of the arrival of the air-conditioned reading machine his office is now effectively implementing the 2006 Joint Administrative Order No. 3 between the Department of Transportation & Communication – LTO and the Department of Environment & Natural Resources – Environmental Management Bureau to inspect car air-conditioning systems as a requirement for renewal and registration that should have started in year 2006.
The JAO said all vehicles modeled 1999 up to present should have HFC-134a (R-134a or non-CFC) air-conditioning system.
Older models (1998 and below) with CFC-12 or Freon-using air-conditioning system would still be allowed to register until the phase-out year of 2012. However, they may opt to retrofit their airconditioning system with alternative refrigerants, such HFC-134a, which is more ozone-friendly.
Any vehicles from among the said models found to have been converted back to Chlorofluorocarbon-12, also known as R-12 or Freon, system shall not be allowed to register or renewed registration with LTO unless airconditioning system is changed back to non-CFC system.
“The full implementation of all vehicles to convert their air-conditioning system from R-12 to R134a started in year 2012. R-12 is poisonous, what we are doing here at LTO is for the good of the motorist and his riders. Some unscrupulous aircon shop owners surreptitiously installed it to unwitting (vehicle) owners so they (shop owners) amass huge profit since it fetches for one hundred pesos per kilo only while the safe R134a sells at five hundred pesos (a kilo),” Agbayani stressed.
He said R12 is banned by an international accord as the country was one of the 189 nations’ signatories to the Montreal Protocol on the Protection of the Ozone Layer.
“Have your mobile aircon system service by DTI (Department of Trade & Industry) accredited service shop to be assured of not beng charged of fake refrigerant”
Agbayani said that anybody caught unlawfully selling or installing R-12 to a vehicle would have his store subject for closure.