Bill rewards citizens who will apprehend smoke belchers

By on November 22, 2014


MANILA — Party-list lawmakers have filed a bill rewarding the citizen’s arrest of drivers or operators of smoke belching vehicles.

House Bill 4932 authored by Reps. Mariano U. Piamonte, Jr. and Julieta R. Cortuna (Party-list, A-Teacher) seeks to tap the support of ordinary citizens in improving law enforcement.

Piamonte said it is about time to get the support of the citizens in implementing the law against smoke belching.

“With too many laws bound to be implemented, it is easy for those concerned to say that it is hard for them to implement all laws effectively, and indeed it is,” Piamonte said.

“You still can see smoke belching vehicles running around the streets of Metro Manila and elsewhere. These scenarios can breed some suspicion that authorities are lax in enforcing the law,” Piamonte stressed.

Cortuna said “one area which is nice to begin in tapping citizen’s arrest is the apprehension of smoke belching vehicles by ordinary citizens.”

Under the bill, any individual who shall witness a motor vehicle being operated or running in any street and emit black smoke or its equivalent polluting emission shall have the authority to apprehend/arrest the driver or operator of such motorized smoke belching vehicle.

Under the measure, the arresting individual may bring the apprehended/arrested operator and vehicle to a nearby police station to be booked for violation of the Clean Air Act.

The vehicle should be temporarily impounded pending verification of smoke belching violation.

The bill provides a reward of P10,000 to the arresting individual for every legitimate apprehension of smoke belching vehicle. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) shall determine the legitimacy of such apprehension.

Further, the DENR shall cause and order the payment of the reward to be handed personally to the apprehending individual or mailed to his given address and should be tax free.