Thursday, September 15, 2011

Anti-Smoke Belching Racket, Part 2

My earlier posting, Anti-smoke belching Racket last January 17, 2011, has attracted a number of serious and sometimes worrying concerns of ever-spreading extortion in government. I will enumerate shortened comments from that blog post:

1. bilko:

I also had this experience. Will be watching out for your update. I will be picking up my license tomorrow. This will not end well.

2. kaleidoscope:
I pity the drivers who get flagged down by ASBU people. i always see them everyday along C5 and Makati. I havent seen any Public Document posted about this ordinance and operating procedure to make it clear to the motorist how apprehension and testing should be done. There should be a clear regulation how to implement this and every ASBU unit should be required to show it. everytime they "test" your vehicle they rev it more than 3K rpm which will definitely smoke any engine old or new.

3. kaleidoscope:
my driver was flagged down while driving a 2007 model pickup.the ASBU guys stepped on the pedal at more than 3K rpm which caused the engine to smoke. this cost us 1K and hours just to go there and claim the car plate. this is a stupid ordinance since they are not flagging down public vehicles which are very obvious smoke belchers, and who regularly ply the streets of a particular city. this practice should be stopped first and the public should be made aware how this is to be done properly.

4. Anonymous:
Pinara kami ng asbu last week sa metro manila tapos tinanong ko ang tamang procedure sagot nila dami ko tanong, FYI wala silang ID kasi volunteers lang daw sila. they run the test lumabas 9.98 tapos tinanong ko pano yun computation ng machine bakit ang dami kong tanong eh yan ang lumabas sa machine, sabi ko i will report this to the media and take some of thier photos bec. thier not wearing IDs nagalit sila. i even tried to get one of thier names but they resist to give. paano po magiging credible yun mga test na ginawa nila kung sila walang id at hindi alam yun procedure at walang transparency. Then we headed to DPS manila shocking to see the people who organizing the ASBU WERE EX POLICEMEN and mukhang goons, we argue about the ticket still they called us bastos for threatening them to the media. the following day we complained it to the mayors office and talked to the chief of DPS, he said next time pag nahuli kayo paki usapan nyo na lang at wag na kayo mag argue or kunin mo na lang sakin plate number mo. I still ask him SIR pano po ba yun procedure. he answered eh yan ang lumabas sa machine while smiling.

5. Anonymous:
I am a visitor from Calfornia to this country and was riding with my brother in law when we were flagged down by two men in a yellow shirts and demanded that our vehicle be check for emission. The car was registered in laguna and have been certified by LTO having passed the smog but thi sarrogant asshole insisted that they test the vehicle which we comply, but of course they have rigged the device in order for you not to pass, to make a long story short, they were asking a so called fee to resolve the problem, my brother in law being familiar with the government system hand out a 500 pesos to the guy, but we overheard the other lady telling the guy it needs to be 1000 or they will remove the plate from my brother in law car.

6. Anonymous:
Today August 16, 2011, 1:30PM, I was flagged down along C-5 Kalayaan crossing by Makati ASBU. My vehicle failed the emmission test. I was given two choices, surrender my license or one of the plates to be "tubos" in Makati Central Fire Department, Ayala. Two very young guys approached me with the result of the emission test and the blank violation ticket. I said I need to fix my immigration to Canada requirements and I have deadline to meet. The eyes of the idiots rolled and saw money in my face!! ALFIE BINARAO came and asked me to discuss my OPTIONS off the car since my whole family was inside and they would hear the kotongan. BINARAO told me that it would be a great hassle to me if he would take my plate off or I would claim my license. Do I want to pay P1,300 with receipt from Central Fire Station or.... BINARAO wanted me to continue the line. Pwede na ba P300? "Sir, may result na kasi eh. Kami ng mga kasama ko ang mag aabono nyan... E kung sa gitna na lang po tayo" I said P500? "Opo, ok na yun", said BINARAO. Then off I went. Bata pa ang mga taong ito ang huhusay na mangotong. At ang gagaling ng strategy nila. They are a team of gangsters in uniform extorting money from motorists and depriving Makati City of Revenues. Sana lang hindi bingi si Mayor Binay.

7. Anonymous:
we also had this experience in roxas blvd. and yeah, they select old vehicles and its irritating specially when you see buses around which emits more smoke than your vehicle. and just a couple of weeks after we reclaim our plates back and pass the test, we were flagged down again, this time in c5. i really wish their modus will be stopped. kawawa ang mga tao. who knows, baka its a matter of life and death yung lakad ng tao kaya sya bumyahe tapos huhulihin lang ng mga yan.

8. Anonymous:
Same thing happened to us, twice, the latest incident was yesterday..
We were flagged down by ASBU people along Edsa Ayala. Like all of the people here, we failed the emission test that they conducted on our vehicle and it gave a result of 9.9, when our car really doesn't emit dark smoke and had just been tested a few months ago when it was registered. So we were being asked to pay 1000 pesos or have our plate number confiscated, we bargained and agreed on paying 500 instead, but the guy told us that the 500 we were paying was just for them to allow us to go and does not guarantee that we will not be flagged down again in the next days. He was encouraging us to buy a piece of paper which says "SMOKE EMISSION TEST PASSED" and it costs 300 pesos. According to him, this paper will be an assurance that we will not be flagged down again for the next 3 months but needs to be renewed after the 3 month validity period which means you will have to pay 300 pesos again. He kept on threatening us that we will be flagged down again and the 500 pesos which we gave him today will just come to waste if we did not buy the paper from him.. But we insisted that we did not have anymore money to give and so he said we can call him next time we decide on buying the paper and gave us his contact number. This person's name was ROBERTO LOPEZ from the MAKATI ASBU.
---

Meanwhile, here are more stories from other sites:

1. quality1st, Mar 12 2010, 07:16 AM, on Pasig City ASBU

I forgot to include during the On the spot Smoke test when they flagged down,my driver was at the drivers seat while they inserted the probe. My driver was the one revving the engine low to high, the technician seeing no smoke, asked his companion "ikaw nga dun" they the guy according to my driver revved the engine steeped on the pedal like a sewing machine, with the sound of the engine like 6000 to 6500 rpm. With the way they test like making the engine wild, makakasira pa sila ng engine. Then the tape receipt results indicate that maximum RPM performed was 3000rpm only.

2. rda14 Mar 13 2010, 08:07 AM
http://4x4ph.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=76312&pid=242840&mode=threaded&start=#entry242840

i had the same experience last february on my way to pasay, i passed by c5 turned right at kalayaan avenue going to edsa. i was flagged down just as i made the turn towards kalayaan avenue. my vehicle is a nissan frontier 4x4 2000 model. i know hindi ito smoke belcher so confident ako that i would pass the test. when they stepped in the vehicle and revved the engine whoah black smoke came out of my trucks exhaust, umabot ata ng 4000rpm. i told the personnel "bakit nyo po biglang inaapakan yung pedal sigurado pong masasakal yang makina at uusok po yan" and he replied "hindi mausok talaga sasakyan nyo". i told him when i drive hanggang 2000rpm lang ako 2500 max. "mausok talaga sir" i did not bother to argue and just told him magkano ba para pumasa, "P200 sir" was his reply. paid the P200 and went on my way. just sad that people like us who take good care of our vehicles get victimized by these people.

3. linds Mar 13 2010, 07:08 PM
http://4x4ph.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=76312&pid=242929&mode=threaded&start=#entry242929

ganyan din dito QC sinabihan nako ng kaibigan working sa city hall... pag ayaw nila pumasa unit mo papahirapan ka talaga!
kahit maayos makina mo pag wala lagay...lagot ka!

4. hubakon posted Jul 27, 2010 | views: 39 | Tags: MAKATI ASBU Smoke Belching Unit
http://hubakon.soulcast.com/489590/Makati-Anti-Smoke-Belching-Unit-ASBU

I have been stopped once driving a 2.5 year old diesel AUV under the Magallenes fly-over. I was a bit surprised considering my vehicles age and the strict compliance to manufacturer maintenance plans. (i.e. change oil blah blah every 5k)

Guess what? I failed the test, officers or more like hooligans did very high revs until smoke came out. Hooligans took plate off and asked to me to claim from makati office after paying the thousand plus penalties. He said I was a nice guy for not screaming, so I want might want to do a deal with him to avoid the penalties. ( I said fuck off)

Annoyed by the situation because;
Car is properly maintained yet failed.
Car has extremely low mileage.
Can I chase Mitsubishi for this? (yeah right!)

Next day, I had the car tested by one of the LTO ACCREDITED emission testing centers near LTO Makati and passed. So here are my questions;

Why is there an ASBU?
Do we completely distrust the LTO results?
Does anyone check if these guys truly know what they are doing?
How come two different outcomes? ( I have the results and receipts with me)
Is this incompetence (LTO) being compounded by another incompetence (ASBU)?
Does the supervisor of the ASBU realize that they are causing huge traffic in the south super highway, because of the restricted flow of traffic?
-----

By flagging down vehicles, especially older ones, the local governments via their ASBUs, are accusing these vehicles and their drivers/owners that "We do not care if your trip is important or not, but we think that your vehicle is a smoke-belcher. In order to disprove that, you must pass our smoke test first before you can proceed."

This is passing the burden of proof on the vehicle owners and drivers, instead of the government showing the burden of proof first, before it can flag down and stop vehicles. The analogy is like this. Government people can stop anyone walking in the street whose face they may not like and say, "We think you are a theft or a murderer. In order to disprove that, you should pass our lie detector test first before you can go."

In a free society, this should not be the case. In the absence of any preliminary data or proof of any accusation, government has no right to stop and harass the citizens. Government should show that preliminary data or proof first and explain to the citizens why they are stopping them.

One way to do this, is for some government ASBU staff to stand up in one intersection and take pictures of those vehicles which are obviously smoke belchers. Take photos, then communicate to the other ASBU staff ahead, to stop that vehicle for smoke emission testing. This way, government has reason to stop those suspected smoke-belching vehicles because they have proof and photos to show as reason for obstructing the free movement of people.

But this is not the case, as narrated by the above testimonies. Many of them are signing as "Anonymous"; I think they are scared of another round of harassment. Government has the record of all registered vehicles and their owners and their addresses. The ASBUs have their additional database of the vehicles that they have apprehended in the past.

Calling the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the main implementing agency of the Clean Air Act, in association with the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the various cities in Metro Manila and their respective ASBUs. Do not harass ordinary citizens, WE are the taxpayers who pay for your salaries, allowances, bonuses, travels, vehicles, and other perks. We already parted with our hard-earned money for those taxes, do not extract or extort more money from us out of those questionable anti-smoke belching practices.

Readers, please leave more comments of your observations, experience and ideas of the above narration and discussion.

Thank you.

11 comments:

P. D. said...

Car (2000 model with my mom and aunt in it) got caught last Friday at Buendia/Roxas Boulevard. I've been trying to google for an hour now as to what the official procedure is or where the accredited emission test centers are in Pasay (I hear they only accept results from Pasay City) but I can't find any that look reliable or have feedback. There was one article that said if you have the Pasay LTO do the testing it's more expensive plus they test a LOT of other things.. wouldn't that leave us open to more extortion type openings?

What's the procedure really? We were told we have 5 days to redeem the plate but the car's banned tomorrow.

Please help! Will be following this tomorrow..

Nonoy Oplas said...

Hi PD,

I think the quick answer is: there is NO formal procedure really to pass the emission test of those ASBU guys, whether in Pasay, Makati, Pasig, Manila, etc. Check the experience of other motorists in Part 1 of this paper.

One motorist there shared that when his driver went back to city hall ASBU office to redeem the confiscated plate, he put P100 taped on the accelerator. The guys there later said that his car has "passed" the new test. I am not sure if this will work.

Another way is to go to the Mayor's office directly and explain your story that your car is well maintained, has no visible dark smoke, and still it "failed" the ASBU test.

P.D. said...

Hi, I did check out what they had to say - no procedure as such. So what did they do? I don't want to take the "100 on the accelerator" route. It *is* possible that it was justified, I don't know because I wasn't there, so how does one go about re claiming one's plate legally? In general what did they do to reclaim their plates?

Nonoy Oplas said...

I dont know what they did, they did not share it. You have to "pass" another test at the ASBU office in city hall, pay the fine of P1,500 or so, then you can get your confiscated plate. YOu can ask around from other people what to do to "pass" another round of emission test.

P. D. said...

hmm this lack of information is too annoying for words! i agree with you, there should be a uniform WRITTEN (and displayed in all the local LTO offices) procedure for this!
i will update tomorrow and let your readers know what happened. i myself can't go with the driver, but someone reliable will be along to relate what happens. things i hope i will be able to report tomorrow:
1. the procedure
2. what emission test centers are accepted by the Pasay LTO (AND what the LTO has to say about local governments choosing which test centers will be accepted by them!)
3. fine, if any (how much, if it's really 1,500, and info about whether they give an OFFICIAL receipt or not)
honestly, why hasn't anyone raised this with the local news or citizen's
affairs programs?? we as citizens should be able to get this information easily, it should be out in the open!! otherwise we've just created another venue for corruption, which is a sad and immoral practice ruining our country!

Anonymous said...

This is obviously another means for corruption. Money making scheme of the LGU. Even the MMDA doesnt have clear guidlines but they released a memoradum to intensify ASB operations : http://www.mmda.gov.ph/MMCResolutions/MMDAReso10-15.html

I came across your blog because I was trying to find the standard operating procedures or rules of implementation for ASBUs.

I was flagged down a few months ago by the Makati ASBU. I just came from the airport and was on my way to bring my child to the doctor.

They insisted on testing but I was surprised that they would have to be the one to enter the vehicle and step on the gas pedal to check for smoke. After stepping on it, they insisted that since there was some smoke it needs to be tested. We insisted that we are in a hurry due to an emergency and they agreed to let us through.

What I am trying to figure out is the Legality of them flagging people down without obvious proof and legality of entering a private vehicle which I believe is an extension of one's home. If police or MMDA enforcers cannot make a driver step out of a vehicle even for traffic violations nor search a vehicle without a warrant, why is it okay for ASBU personel to enter the vehicle and conduct the testing without prior proof of smoke belching.

just my two cents...

hmelendresdianko said...

Hi, My sisters too were victimized by these ASBUs in EDSA makati, last November 15,2011... they were in a landcrusier thats very much maintained and theses guys just tested it and said it failed. At those times we were all grieving ,because it was the day of my mother's funeral, and these ASBU officers just didn't care even though they were informed that my sisters were going to be late for the funerals. It was 1pm then and they were asking for P600 pesos to let our vehicle go...the irony there was that these officers complained that they had not yet eaten and they were taking so much of "their time". How cruel it was because our driver had to bargain up to P100 pesos only , then that was the time they agreed to let the issue passed. These kind of behavior and corrupt practices of these ASBU officers should be checked and stopped! Who else can go ask protection if these are the officials that betray our government and the people?

Anonymous said...

puro private delivery vehicles lang naman hinuhuli at pinapara ng mga hinayupak na yan.. bakit mga jeepneys and buses di nila hulihin.and un mga sasakyan nila hindi nila hulihin.. mga buwaya yan mga taga MMDA, pasig asbu, manila asbu, mandaluyong asbu,,,,,, 1000p to 1500p ang lagayan diyan pag makikipag areglo ka... ....pag nabaklasan ka ng plaka.asahan mo na ubos na ang isang araw mo sa pag tubos ng plaka mo dahil sa bulok nilang sistema nila .........perwisyo yan mga smoke belching campaign na yan. dapt tangalin nayan.... onli in the philippines!! sana isang araw mabuwag na yan mga hayop na yan,pwersiyo satin yan mga negosyante at may mga diesel na sasakyan..calling tulfo brothers.

Anonymous said...

ano po ba ang tamang procedure ng pagtest ng smoke belching? parang lahat po kasi ng mga pinapara nila na mga sasakyan from pasong tamo bagsak sa smoke belching test..tapos wala pong ID ung mga naninita? 1 machine lang po ang ginagamit na pang test..UMIISTILE ung mga naka blue polo shirt..

Anonymous said...

My driver just got flagged down today at c5. I gave him specific instructions around a month ago that he should be the one to step on the gas pedal and not the volunteer if in case he gets apprehended. My car is a starex 2004 crdi model and well maintained. I do believe that it is illegal for them to insist on stepping on the gas pedal since they will enter your car. I am not a lawyer but i do really hope that this problem of "kotong guys" stop.
If there is a group which will complain to these guys, COUNT ME IN.....

Ronald

Eagle Broadband said...

sat july 28, 2012 at 12:00 pm pinara nila ako bagsak daw ako sabi ko ano test procedure halos galit ang makina ko at yung fan belt sorbra ang ingit sabi ko pasado naman ako sa emission sa lto bago mag pa registro ang sagot sakin NAG BABAYAD KAYO KASI DOON . wala palang silbi yung emission bago mag pa registro iba test procedure ng emission sa inyo at kumpara sa emission bago map pa regisrto


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