ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Anti-Smoke Belching Campaign

Updated on August 13, 2013

ONE HARROWING experience while traveling in Metro Manila, Philippines is having your vehicle flagged down for violation of an anti belching ordinance.

To implement Republic Act No. 8749 or “the Clean Air Act of the Philippines” most cities and municipalities have enacted an ordinance against smoke belching where the penalty is usually a fine of P 1,000 for first-time offenders, while second and third time offenders are fined P 2,000 and P 3000 respectively. In some instances, the driver’s license or the car’s plate number is also confiscated.

And to enforce the ordinance, a city usually creates an Anti-Smoke Belching Unit (ASBU). While their intent is noble, complaints against ASBU operatives abound. Gathered from the accounts of owners or drivers of vehicles apprehended by the ASBU, their procedure in implementing the city’s anti-belching ordinance merits an objective and thorough examination.

(1) In most cases, only “vehicles with diesel engines” are stopped by the ASBU even if the automobile does not emit any visible smoke.

(2) Despite being armed with a certification from the Land Transportation Office that the automobile has recently passed said agency’s smoke emission test, ASBU operatives would still insist that the vehicle undergo their own smoke belching test.

(3) More often than not, the ASBUs conducting the anti-belching campaign are not wearing any identification card (ID) that is supposed to be attached to their uniforms.

(4) There is no signboard or notice that would inform vehicle owners or drivers of an on-going anti-belching campaign making it very difficult to determine whether the operation is legitimate.

(5) In their smoke belching test, the ASBU would take the driver’s seat and floor the gas pedal to accelerate the engine and force it to emit dark smoke thereby justifying a smoke belching violation.

(6) While the ASBU revs the vehicle almost to the point of wrecking the engine, the vehicle’s opacity is measured with the use of a portable machine brought by the ASBU personnel themselves on the side of the road. The ASBU attaches the hose of this machine on the car’s exhaust.

(7) As expected, vehicles often fail the belching test. The ASBU then confiscates either the driver’s license or the car’s plate number.

(8) The ASBU then furnishes the driver a receipt from the city’s anti-pollution office for purposes of redeeming the sequestered license or car plate.

In the event that your vehicle is stopped by the ASBU while traveling, here are some suggestions:

(a) Act with courtesy and show respect. Always remember that respect begets respect. Bear in mind that the purpose of an anti-belching campaign is to have cleaner air and the ASBU operative is just doing his job.

(b) Try to determine if the anti-belching operation is legitimate. In a respectful manner ask the name of the ASBU and examine his identification card, mission order and other documents authorizing the conduct of the operation.

(c) If the ASBU refuses to identify himself, fails to produce his ID or any document say your objection in a firm, clear and professional manner without insulting and unnecessary invectives. It is important that heated exchanges and arguments are avoided as it may compromise your safety including your passengers.

(d) If you have reasons to believe that the belching test is dubious or the ASBU is a bogus one report the matter to the authorities.

Philippine National Police Hotline – 117 (emergency cases); 02-7230401 (non-emergency cases).

Land Transportation Office (LTO) - (02)9257193; 09279366777; 09214487777

Metropolitan Development Authority (MMDA) - Hotline Number Dial 136; 09209389861

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) - +63 (2) 925 0320 to 23

Civil Service Commission (CSC) – (02) 9512575; (02) 9512576; (02)9320111

(e) If existing circumstances render you without choice but to proceed with the conduct of the ASBU’s belching test, try to document the entire procedure using notes, photos or videos.

(f) After the belching test ensure that the receipt issued by the ASBU is completely and properly accomplished. Make sure that the names of the apprehending and testing officers are legibly written on the receipt for identification purposes.

(g) If you think that there are anomalies on the part of the ASBU personnel or any irregularity in the conduct of the entire operation, file a Complaint or request assistance from the appropriate government office.

The Office of the Ombudsman is vested by law with the power to correct and prevent any abuse or impropriety in the performance of duties of government officials and employees including the ASBU operatives. Thus, if you have any legitimate request for any form of assistance call the Office of the Ombudsman at telephone numbers (+632) 479-7300; (+632) 479-7300 and (+632) 479-7300.

(h) Immediately or not later than five (5) days redeem your confiscated driver’s license or car plate. As your vehicle may be subjected again to the ASBU’s belching test, have your car cleaned and checked by a reputable mechanic before proceeding to their office.

(i) At whatever stage of your ordeal, stand up against corruption and help the government weed scalawags within its ranks.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      2 years ago

      what is the minimum and maximum amount of PM10 that should emitted by a car


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)