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Carless days ahead in Marikina
Edson Tandoc Jr., Inquirer News Service (11 Mar 2005)

MANILA, PHILIPPINES: WANT TO help lessen pollution, ease traffic and save energy? Don't use your car today. Or better yet, offer to be a volunteer for the Department of Energy's Carless Day Program.

The program, which was launched in Marikina City yesterday morning, is part of the government's efforts to attain energy self-sufficiency through conservation, Energy assistant secretary Francisco Benito told the Inquirer.

Marikina was chosen for the launch "because it is a clean city," Benito said. At least 70 car owners in the city have pledged to join the program which will also be brought to other cities and municipalities all over the country.

Volunteers are required to choose a day in the week when they will not use their car. This will not only mean savings in fuel expenses but will also ease traffic and help the environment, Benito said.

Interested volunteers can visit the Energy department website ( for details. Participants will later get kits and yellow car stickers indicating the carless day, to be pasted on windshields.

The department will rely only on the volunteer's sincerity to find out if he sticks to the rules. The sticker on the windshield can also help pressure the volunteer to follow his pledge, Benito said.

In exchange, the department hopes to get discounts from the Light Rail Transit and Metro Rail Transit, as well as from pay parking lot operators, for carless program volunteers.

Benito said they would also ask big companies to provide shuttle services for employees who would participate in the program. Apart from the Carless Day Program, the department is also advocating the use of indigenous and alternative sources of energy.

By starting several programs promoting energy conservation, the department aims to save 23 million barrels of fuel every year.

Posted 10:58am (Mla time) Mar 11, 2005

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