HIS TRUCK had been apprehended for smoke belching, so there was the driver, furiously pumping his vehicle’s pedal six times while it was parked inside the cavernous North Motor Vehicle Inspection Services (MVIS) building on East Avenue in Quezon City. Earlier, an MVIS technician had inserted a probe into the truck’s tailpipe. The probe was connected to an opacimeter, which measures the black soot from diesel vehicles, and now everyone was waiting for the device to deliver the verdict on the truck. After a few seconds, the opacimeter spat out a short strip of paper. The figures on it said the truck had registered an emission lower than the cut-off point of 2.5 k (light absorption coefficient), which means it had passed the test.
IT’S CALLED nostalgically as the ‘King of the Road,’ but to many, the jeepney is more the scourge of the streets.
Motorists complain of jeepneys that hog the roads and stall traffic by suddenly stopping in the middle of a busy street to pick up passengers. Even worse are the jeepneys that belch thick, black, acrid fumes as they speed down the asphalt.
IT USED to be that the only reasons LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) gas tanks would be on the streets were because they were either being delivered to homes or were attached to stoves on the carts of vendors of banana cue and kwek-kwek (deep-fried batter-coated quail eggs). Now, however, LPG is powering thousands of taxis plying Metro Manila streets — and no one is the wiser, save for pleased taxi drivers and operators who say their fuel expenses have gone down by at least half.
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