Anti-smoke belching team to fine violators

By Jason B. Neola NAGA CITY --- At least 33 vehicles were flagged down and 12 units of them were fined for failing the test on anti-smoke belching. Personnel of the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (ENRO) last August 2 during a surprise monitoring and inspection apprehended smoke-belching vehicles for failing to pass the emission standards set by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources against air pollution caused by gas-powered motor vehicles. The anti-smoke belching unit (ASBU), deputized by the Land Transportation Office (LTO), manned a roadside monitoring and apprehension checkpoints along the Maharlika Highway in Barangay Concepcion Grande and Bagumbayan Norte to conduct emission tests on vehicles through the team’s opacimeter machines for diesel and gasoline-fed engines. The machines, which meet the requirements of the national standard (limits and measurement methods for exhaust smoke from compression ignition engine), and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), have the capability to continuously appraise the visible pollutants from the exhaust smoke with measured results directly achieved. Jayson T. Vargas, City ENRO’s pollution control officer and officer in charge of pollution control and management division, said his group was able to flag down and check 33 vehicles 12 of which failed the allowable emission test. Assisting the team are personnel from the Naga City Police Office and the Land Transportation Office. The city government which was commended by DENR in past years because of its standing ordinance and relentless campaign against smoke belchers has been up to the task since year 2000. In that year and the following years since ASBU began operating, the city government was able to collect fines amounting to P300,000 from violators of anti-smoke belching provision of Republic Act 8749, also known as the Clean Air Act. Alexander Caning, ENRO chief, however, clarified that the more important concern of the campaign is not to generate income but to compel the motorists to comply with the Clean Air Act. “We should be happier if we got a lower number of violators as this would mean we have a lesser number of contributors to air pollution,” he said. The penalties imposed by the City ENRO based on RA 8749: a) First offense - a fine not less than 1,000 and not to exceed Two thousand pesos (P2,000); b) Second offense - a fine not less than Two thousand pesos (P2,000) and not to exceed Four thousand pesos (P4,000); and c) Third offense - 1 year suspension of the Motor Vehicle Registration (MVR) and a fine of not less than Three thousand pesos (P3,000) and not more than Six thousand pesos (P6,000). In addition, the driver and operator of the apprehended vehicle will undergo a seminar on pollution control and management conducted by the DOTC. A glance at ASBU’s July-August ASBU Operation Report will show: Area of Operation: Concepcion Pequeña, Naga City (Morning) PASSED FAILED TOTAL 16 4 20 Area of Operation: Mabolo, Naga City (Afternoon) PASSED FAILED TOTAL 16 5 21 August 1, 2017 Area of Operation: San Francisco, Naga City (Morning) PASSED FAILED TOTAL 11 8 19 Area of Operation: Bagumbayan Norte, Naga City (Afternoon) PASSED FAILED TOTAL 12 3 15 August 24, 2017 Area of Operation: Bagumbayan Norte, Naga City (Afternoon) PASSED FAILED TOTAL 8 2 10 Total Vehicles inspected and undergone random smoke belching test= 85 Vehicles Total Vehicles Failed the road side emission testing = 22 Vehicles Total road worthy vehicles passed the road side emission testing = 63 Vehicles