Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Anti Smoke Belching Racket, Part 6

My friend from UP, Rad Basa, was stopped yesterday by the Anti Smoke Belching Unit (ASBU)  of Pasay City while driving his diesel engine car. As in almost all stories of private motorists, his car "failed" the smoke emission test. The batting average of private vehicles in passing ASBU tests is generally zero, regardless of which city in Metro Manila. No one passes. Below is Rad's story, posted today in facebook. He gave me permission to post and blog this.

It's a miracle!

Yesterday around 1 p.m., I became a victim of an ASBU (Anti Smoke Belching Unit) from the Pasay City LGU at EDSA-Rodriguez.


The vehicle that I was operating was a Hyundai Starex with a diesel engine. It was not emitting any visible smoke yet I was pulled over for "testing". This is obviously apprehension without cause. I surmise that the only reason is that the vehicle has a diesel engine.

Improper Testing

I was asked to step out of the driver's seat so that they could conduct their "test". I chose to stand by the driver side door so I could monitor the RPM gauge but I was asked to step away from the vehicle. They revved the engine. It emitted black smoke as all diesel engines do when revved in a certain way and near its redline. Then they showed me the result of the test from their machine. It came out 9.66 way above the 3.5 regulated by law.

I did not believe this because the vehicle had just passed the emission test two months ago for its annual registration. But, there was no point arguing with them. I had no means to refute their claim. I surrendered my driver's license and opted for a ticket and went on my way to do a whole afternoon's worth of errands.

And, no, the buses and jeepneys that passed by that had very visible smoke coming out of their tail pipes did not get pulled over. Just the private diesel vehicles. The buses and jeepneys must have paid up beforehand.

Properly Tested

This morning, I brought the vehicle to an LTO accredited emissions testing center. It passed with a score of 0.83. Way below the regulated standard. There was nothing done to the vehicle. No repairs. No tune ups. No washing of the tail pipe. Jesus Christ's mechanic must have visited the vehicle in the night to fix a 9.66 into a 0.83!

The personnel at the emissions testing center think that the ASBU did not gradually rev and over-revved the engine to produce a high result. The ASBU did not follow the proper way to conduct an emission test.


That's what it is. Extortion.

Too bad for Rad, and many other private motorists who drive diesel engine vehicles (cars, vans, AUVs, trucks). He did not know the ASBU guys, only the one who issued him the ticket as these people do not wear IDs, or if they do, they hide it.

These ASBUs only flag down private diesel vehicles even if there are no obvious sights or signs of smoke belching. But they generally allow buses, jeepneys and tricycles that are obviously smoke belchers,  like these, photos I got from the web.

The ASBU in Makati was known  for large scale extortion  too. Last year, after receiving too  many complaints of extortion and improper testing procedures, Makati Mayor Junjun Binay deactivated the unit. But the ASBUs in Pasay, Pasig, Manila, QC, etc., they continue the racket, highway robbery. 

The ASBUs have legal basis for their indiscriminate and arbitrary apprehensions, the Clean Air Act of 1999 (Republic Act 8749). DENR + LGUs are among the implementing agencies. The corrupt and extortionists among LGUs see it as a big opportunity for extortion. The Mayors generally know that it is a tool for extortion but they allow it because these guys are among their political supporters, and somehow the fines from "smoke emission" give additional money to city halls. The fines are P1,000 for the First Offense, Second Offense, P3,000; and Third Offense, P5,000 and attend a seminar on pollution management. So somehow it is a decentralized, deliberate racket.

Rad added, 

Sure they have the Clean Air Act behind them but that does not mean they can abuse it and perform illegal apprehensions and perform improper testing.

Flagging diesel vehicles that do not visibly smoke belch to the side of the road just because they run on diesel is similar to flagging down Ferraris running below the speed limit just because they have the capacity to go over the speed limit. And then they perform the emissions test improperly, against the letter of the law. They even have a history of brand new, no plate yet, vehicles that failed.

So they violate the law twice to enforce a law.

More people should blog or make direct complaint against these ASBUs. If they notice, the Mayors included, that they are always on social media, they should be ashamed, hopefully. Like what happened to ASBU Makati. Until now they are still deactivated.

See also:
Anti-Smoke Belching Racket, Part 2, September 15, 2011
Anti-Smoke Belching Racket, Part 3, November 25, 2011
Anti-Smoke Belching Racket, Part 4, September 25, 2012

Anti-Smoke Belching Racket, Part 5, April 02, 2013
MMDA, LGUs and Towing Racket, November 26, 2012


Anonymous said...

just so you know, the MAKATI ASBUs are back.

Anonymous said...

Same story. Just happened last Mar 15, 2015

junis said...

dapat may video ang pag testing ng ganyan. walang video, walang effectivity ang testing. kapal ng mga mukha nyan. nagpapa traffic pa. dapat jan pag napatunayan na mali ang rpm sa testing, ikulong at pag multahin para sa abala.

Unknown said...

same story here with those ASBU Pasay guys. i asked them for the proper procedure and they could not answer me outright, telling me instead the acceptable result values, etc. it seems that they do not even understand how the procedure is done.

they kicked the pedal 6 times, releasing as almost as quickly as they kicked. naturally, fuel will flood the cylinders and with not enough time to draw in air for combustion, or regulate the fuel input to a constant flow (as they released the pedal quickly), and behold! black smoke!

how can anyone, in his right mind, floor the pedal up to 4k-5k rpm and not expect (black) smoke to come out?

i argued that the revving should be "quick but not violent", meaning it should be a controlled kind of push, and that they should hold the rev at constant for 2-4 sec (as per the procedures in the emission testing guidelines), allowing the injection pump governor to kick into action. this should make the fuel flow rate more constant, giving a more stabilized emission reading. they refused to do so saying that that length of time will destroy the engine. also, the results were not in the 0.25 margin of each tests, the standard for a "stabilized result".

Anonymous said...

So shameful .. Even here in mandaluyong City in front of Market Place every now and then they have ASBU opration without any notice that theyhave operation, and most their targets are jeepneys and mga pipitsuging sasakyan.. All from Sta. Ana manila gping to kalentong everyday when theres an ASBU we walk coz we have no choice all the drivers are saying " kahit nakapasa ka sa Test Emmision ng LTO yang mga ASBU pipilitin nilang mag buga ng black. Nakakabiwset na . nakakapika na, nakakaubos na ng pasensya .. paki imbestigahan naman ho sila . ilan taon na kming perwisyo. late s trabaho, pagod maka rating ng kalentong .Please invistagate this ASBu in mandaluyong . Lingo lingo meron sila.

Anonymous said...

1.hanapan nyo ng id or mission order or dokumento na nagpapa tunay na legit ang asbu operation nila,pag walang maipa kita pwede mong
ipa alam na hindi ka pumapayag na mag conduct sila ng testing.No id,no testing..No mission order ,no testing(pwede kang mag report sa
pnp 117, mmda136,Lto

2. kung sakaling dumating sa point na nag conduct sila ng testing, i video or take a picture kung tama ang procedures ng testing,,kung mali
pwede mong i reklamo sa ombudsman basta makes sure na makuha mo ang test result na naka indicate ang names ng apprehending
at testing officer.(look for ombudsman complaint hotline)

3. bear in mind, mas maraming huli,mas malaki ang commission ng enforcer at ng local municipality..bawal pumasa kaya used item 1 & 2
to armed yourself and be ready to defend your rights against evil doings.

Bienvenido Oplas Jr said...

Good points Carlos. Yes, take video of what they are doing, especially how they rev the engine, the faces of those guys, the smoke belching jeeps, buses, armored vans that they allow and don't flag down. Post more in social media, in the fb page of the LGU where the ASBU extortionists are based.

Anonymous said...

Experienced this felt helpless & violated. they even remove my plate number as fast as they can & i was asking them for a ticket. all of a sudden my vehicle was about to be towed to lto pasay. I opted for a "AREGLO" it took 1k just to finish the dilemna.

Bienvenido Oplas Jr said...

Oh my, the endless extortion by ASBUs continue. These are outright thieves with government uniforms and IDs and hence, are protected by many other government agencies and bureaucracies. (4-18-2016)

Unknown said...

So do i...was also happened i have certicate of thier certified emmision in pasig.expired on july 26 2016 i showed to them the will not accept i argue them why the couldn't allow..i talk thier boss she will not also until they came to test..the guy who setted to revolution he full rev.until the wisthle.same in six times how come they pass you can hear that the engine wisthle..asbu is not clean air act..its an extortion...becuase the have 30% in every violator..that agency must be abolish...

Anonymous said...

Thank You for this Blog. I'm from Bicol and also encountered same old situation in our region. August 18 my truck was apprehended and penalized for so called smoke belching. I'm contesting it right now citing that my truck was newly registered last Aug 10. It was done properly and inspected at the accredited emission testing center by a QUALIFIED individuals. Revving up a diesel engine which is usually the process of this LTO during their apprehension would have a failed/false result.
The anti-belching law had been founded to regulate pollution coming from vehicle wherein the evident situation it had been the reason why privately owned vehicle with deisel engine are being single out.
My concern during the apprehension are the following:
1. Apprehension without a cause and indiscrimination:
The LTO Truck was recently registered this month August 10 and passed the accredited emission testing at LTO Tabaco and exhibit no black smoke. (see attach certification as proof). The truck was flag down without a visible reason and the main reason it was flag down that it was a privately owned and a truck had a diesel engine. Exempted from this scrutiny are the likes of buses, jeep, tricycle and cars some are evidently in violation of clean act but was not flag down.
2. Misdemeanor and threats of Officer:
The said apprehending officer did not introduce himself nor completely detailed his full name on the T.O.P form. When asked by my driver if he could get his full name Mr.______ get angry and threaten to suspend his license for a year.
3. No proper identification:
The apprehending office at the time does not have a visible identification and was rude.
4. Improper Testing and biased results:
The truck was properly registered and inspected at the accredited emission testing center by a Qualified individuals. Revving up a diesel engine to a high would have a different result.
The portable testing done by the LTO officer was done improperly causing the result to be false and should not be the LTO office basis.

Bienvenido Oplas Jr said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bienvenido Oplas Jr said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bienvenido Oplas Jr said...

Thank you, Anonymous. Detailed story of highway robbery by those ASBUs in Bicol. I will pass these feedback to a friend under the Office of new DOTC Sec. Tugade. (8-20-2016)

Unknown said...

Is there a response from tne office of our new DOTC SEC..YESTERDAY I WAS ALSO VICTIMIZED..Iownwed a 2013 L200 mitsubishi..Properly maintained..The same procedure..They pump the accelerator until the car vibrates..I,told them not to do it that way..Because it might,damage the turbo charger..They ignore and did not listen..Then said it FAILED..THEN DEMANDED MY LICENSE..Idecided plate number..And instructed me to claim it in pasay city...And prepare money to,redeem,the plate..Another question..Are the asbu people allowed to board my car and ?And abuse my accelerator pedal by,pumping until it,emits smoke in the,tail pipe? Is jt,not an act of tresspassing my private property?

Bienvenido Oplas Jr said...

Sept. 8, 2016

Hi Anonymous, Alex,

I wrote to Atty. Tuazon, chief of staff of Sec. Tugade about the incident in Bicol, he said that they have suspended the ASBU operation of DOTC, good thing. The big problem is that almost all other ASBUs are administered by LGUs. Thus, Makati ASBU, Pasig ASBU, Pasay ASBU, etc. And this is where many abuses occur, one ASBU may be more considerate while the others are plain arrogant and extortionists.

We have to write to those LGUs through their social media accounts, if they have any -- fb, twitter, etc. This highway robbery does not stop.

Anonymous said...

dapat tlga iabolish n yang mga asbu na yan.....para clang mga abu sayaf s maynila!!bago ka mkpg rehistro my emission test na bakit kailangan pa ng mga asbu na yan?maliwanag pa s sikat ng araw holdap ang kanilang ginagawa!

Unknown said...

Kakabiktima ko lang kahapon bidla akong Pinara samatalang wala namang usok ang sasakyan namin nag kataong diesel kinuha ang lisensiya ko dko pa sana bibigay kasi ask ko violation ko sabi check lang po sa binigay ko to my surprise pjnababa ako sasakyan saka biglang accelerate ng makina as in biglaan siempre natural usok diesel yan pero naman ganyan ba tayo mag drive sabi ko mali po ang way nyo ng pag test at Pina uulit ko ayaw.nila isang beses lang daw ang test wow nasabi ko tuloy wala namang puma Pasa sa test nyo eh dahil 2.5 lang daw ang passing 5.98 daw yung result no use to argue mukhang sanay na sanay na silang mang loko ng mga private na motorista so in the end ticket pero diko oinirmahan as a sign of protest. Kelan kayamahihinto a ang racket na to ng pasay as u?

Unknown said...

it happened to us last saturday october 20 2018 may video ko nung time na tinetest nila ung car ko same thing happened to us pati procedure na ginawa sayo pinaalis din nila und driver ko sila daw ung magttest tapos failed ung naging result 4.86,wala din kami nagawa kundi isurrender ung drivers licensed ng driver ko kasi nakalost plate ung isang plate nmin then nung pinatest ko ng monday sa emission testing center take note no cleaning diresto test lang talga nashock ako kasi passed ung result 1.9 sabi ng ng testing center pagpakita ko nung video na ginawa ng asbu pasay sabi nya talagang magpafailed daw un kasi 5000rpm ung ginawa nila instead of 3000rpm na limit sa pagttest nalaman namin n talagang nanloloko sila may video din ko nung time na nagpatest ako sa testing center makikita mu talaga ung pagkakaiba ng pagtest ng asbu pasay at testing center then nung nagpunta kmi ng city hall to claim ung licensed nagcomplaint ako sa knila sa result tapos ang sagot lang sakin ng officer na nandun kasi daw nauna sila magtest lahat daw ng dumi ng muffler sa sasakyan ko napunta daw dun sa pangtest nila di nako nakipagtalo kinuha ko nalang name ng nanghuli samin at nung officer na nakausap ko dun, pagkakuha ko nung name nya nagulat kami kasi para syang namutla and di na kami pinapila diretso kami na agad inuna ng cashier halatang halatang may mali silang ginawa sa kilos palang , i try to contact tulfo about this matter para maaksyunan but sad to say di pala sila sumasgot .

JMartin Channel said...

I just experience it in Pasig City today along C Raymundo Avenue..I thought I did something wrong kaya pinapunta ako sa gilid..It was my first time kasama ko pa anak ko papasok ng school hatid ko sana..sabi ko anung mausok ang sasakyn ko eh nasa unahan ka namamara panu mo mkikita un usok ng sasakyan?tapos ibgay q daw license at orcr sa knia..sabi q bat q ibbigay anung group ba to?tapos sabi itest daw ang sasakyan ko emission test baba daw aq sumunod aq tapos tinapakan accelerator ng full eh mlamang uusok talaga..tapos pgtingin ko nasa lalaki na un plaka ko sabi ko anu yan nangunguha ka ng plaka bawal yan ah..anu bang ginagawa niu?anu group ba to?ibalik mo ang plaka ko bastos kayo ah..license nlng daw bnigay q nalang license ko..tapos tinanong ko kung san kukunin..frst time daw ata aq sa city hall daw..umalis na aq dahil parang gusto kong sampalin ung lalaking bgla nalang nasa knia na plaka hndi sila ngpakilala mnlang ang ssbihin lng sau test sa usok..mastress kalang di na nakapasok anak ko tuloy..

Unknown said...

Just today July 3,2019
Same ang ginawa sa amin at kinuha plate no.ano kaya dapat gawin at kanino pwede lumapit? Hope someone can help. Thank you...

Unknown said...

Upon claiming the plate number at the city hall of pasay, may we know what are the steps and documents you presented in order to get the plate number.Thanks

Anonymous said...

Nahuli din po kami nitong may 14, 2021 mag 3pm po bali kung ang average po ay 3.5 ang nakalagay po sa resibo namin ay 3.344 ibig sabihin po pasado pa yong sasakyan namin (L300 1999 model) bakit ang sabi po nila 2.20 daw po ang average, plano po namin kunin ang plaka bukas anu po magandang gawin sana po may makatulong.. Salamat in advance

Anonymous said...

good day....this day along pasay area ung kapatid ko hinuli ng lto kuno....and ang offense is smoke belching....tinest daw ang car lumabas na lagpas sa average..ang sinabi kukunin daw plaka...since ayaw na ng kapatid ko ng hassle ...pinagbayad nlang daw xa worth think na pumasa naman sa emission test ung car nung nagparehistro...nagsearch ako sa net ang nakita namin penalty for what they disclosed violation is 1k-2k lang....

Unknown said...

Racket naman talaga ang ASBU kahit 2 weeks pa.lang galing CASA hindi ka papasa.

leop23 said...

What legal action can be done re this?? Paulit ulit. Tinatakbuhan na lang ng iba

Anonymous said...

The same thing happened to me 3 weeks ago. First time ko ito na encounter. Wala akong idea na matagal na pala nilang ginagagawa ito. Mabuti at nakita ko ang blog na ito. Siguro mas maganda kung magkaka isa tayo at mag file ng formal complain or mag report kay Tulfo para mas may impact ang complain natin. Madalas kasi, pag indibidwal lng, hindi pinapansin. Para tayong mga bakang gatasan ng mga yan. Magka isa tayo at hanapan natin ng paraan para matigil na ang kalokohan nila.