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Hi all,

I've recently moved to the Philippines and have a concern i hope you can help me with. I was a little worried hearing stories of people being robbed in jeepneys or taxis. To get around this i bought a motorbike. I have full insurance and certificates, plus my UK and international driving licence. I've been riding bikes for many years so no worries there.

On the first day (yesterday) i stopped to ask police for directions. They asked to see my licence so i handed over my international licence. Then i was told i had to give them 5,000 pesos or they would confiscate my licence and say i ran a red light. We talked them down to 2,500. About 10 mins later i got done for another 2,000 this time after paying the police i asked for a receipt. That did not go down well! They threatened to keep my money and my licence if i asked for a receipt again.

Even with my savings i can not afford to spend that kind of money on a daily basis. I've been told it's pretty common in the Philippines for westerners to be scammed by the police in this way. Is there any way to prevent this from happening? My current plan is to get a blacked out visor and clothes that cover all my skin for the sake of riding so the police don't know i'm white. I am really praying there's an alternative solution that doesn't require me sweating my <Snip> off every time i ride.

Can any help me with this one?

Thanks :)

:fingerscrossed:
 

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Hi all,

I've recently moved to the Philippines and have a concern i hope you can help me with. I was a little worried hearing stories of people being robbed in jeepneys or taxis. To get around this i bought a motorbike. I have full insurance and certificates, plus my UK and international driving licence. I've been riding bikes for many years so no worries there.

On the first day (yesterday) i stopped to ask police for directions. They asked to see my licence so i handed over my international licence. Then i was told i had to give them 5,000 pesos or they would confiscate my licence and say i ran a red light. We talked them down to 2,500. About 10 mins later i got done for another 2,000 this time after paying the police i asked for a receipt. That did not go down well! They threatened to keep my money and my licence if i asked for a receipt again.

Even with my savings i can not afford to spend that kind of money on a daily basis. I've been told it's pretty common in the Philippines for westerners to be scammed by the police in this way. Is there any way to prevent this from happening? My current plan is to get a blacked out visor and clothes that cover all my skin for the sake of riding so the police don't know i'm white. I am really praying there's an alternative solution that doesn't require me sweating my <Snip> off every time i ride.

Can any help me with this one?

Thanks :)

:fingerscrossed:
Ive never experienced that on 6 islands. Where are you? I would have gotten names.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ive never experienced that on 6 islands. Where are you? I would have gotten names.
Thanks for the reply.

I'm in pasig city. It was near the SM shopping mall. I considered asking for names or identification at the time. Didn't think any suggestion that i was going to report them would go in my favor though.
 

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To Drive Or Not To Drive

Hi all,

I've recently moved to the Philippines and have a concern i hope you can help me with. I was a little worried hearing stories of people being robbed in jeepneys or taxis. To get around this i bought a motorbike. I have full insurance and certificates, plus my UK and international driving licence. I've been riding bikes for many years so no worries there.

On the first day (yesterday) i stopped to ask police for directions. They asked to see my licence so i handed over my international licence. Then i was told i had to give them 5,000 pesos or they would confiscate my licence and say i ran a red light. We talked them down to 2,500. About 10 mins later i got done for another 2,000 this time after paying the police i asked for a receipt. That did not go down well! They threatened to keep my money and my licence if i asked for a receipt again.

Even with my savings i can not afford to spend that kind of money on a daily basis. I've been told it's pretty common in the Philippines for westerners to be scammed by the police in this way. Is there any way to prevent this from happening? My current plan is to get a blacked out visor and clothes that cover all my skin for the sake of riding so the police don't know i'm white. I am really praying there's an alternative solution that doesn't require me sweating my <Snip> off every time i ride.

Can any help me with this one?

Thanks :)

:fingerscrossed:
Single motors are singled out by the PNP and the LTO very often. They set up road blocks (check points) for hours on end in different locations.
To minimize the times you get stopped, buy and put a side-car on it. They seldom stop or bother motor trikes. Another plus with a side car is that it holds friends and family as well as groceries.

Aside from that, have a look at a post I made way back in like 2010. I'll do a cut and paste of that article below.



Best Of Luck;)
----------------------------------------------------------------------

The very best advice that can be given to a foreign visitor about driving in the Philippines is don’t! Don’t even think about it. Even if you are a professional driver of 80,000 pound semi trucks with two million miles under your belt; don’t drive in the Philippines.

The right hand driving pattern is used here as it is in America and Canada etc. The road markings and highway signs are pretty much the same. And even the traffic laws are much the same as most western countries.
But that is where the similarities end.

For reasons too numerous to go into in this short post I will just say that no matter what happens; no matter who is at fault in a traffic accident here. You, as the foreigner will almost always be found in the wrong. Even if you can show proof that you were not at fault, chances are you will still be held at fault and responsible by police for repairs and medical expenses of the other party.
Sounds crazy, but their philosophy is that as a foreigner, if you were not in the country the accident would not have happened in the first place!

Having said that; it is important to also note that I have been living in the Philippines for the past seven years and breaking my own rule the entire time.
So far, I have been very lucky and have had only one minor accident in that time.

As with most other aspects of living here, vehicle repair is very low cost and good mechanics are quite easy to find.
The main problem in repair service is that there is no AAA auto club or towing services easily available if a breakdown occurs on the road.

For that reason as well as fuel economy most people drive a motor cycle or motor cycle with a sidecar attached.
On more than one occasion I have had vehicle problems when out and around and found it much easier to push my motor to a mechanic or tire repair place than to push a car or van.

As mentioned earlier, repair costs here are very affordable. This morning I took our 155cc motor cycle to our favorite repair shop for it’s normal tune up.
A tune up here includes a clutch adjustment, removal and complete breakdown and cleaning of the carburetor, removal of the engine head and adjustment and cleaning of the valves and lifters, as well as adjusting the engine timing.
The entire process took less than 30 minutes and the total cost was only $2.00us dollars with two qualified mechanics working on the bike.
Pretty good value for the money I’d say.

So for anyone visiting the Philippines or moving here as I did that is determined to drive, at least the cost of repairs will be low and usually of good quality. And with all the money you will be saving on repairs you might even have enough saved to pay damages and medical expenses as a result any accident you may have.
And be sure to always wear a helmet when driving. The police are always on the lookout for the unsuspecting foreigner that is in violation of any law they can think of.
If you are caught and fined in cash for a violation of any kind; it will give new meaning to the expression of “support your local police” as you will leave the scene knowing you have just bought the officers lunch or helped put food on the table in the home of one of his many wives he is “working” so hard to support…
 

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Will do. Can i do that anonymously? Last thing i want is to cause trouble for myself. Is it the same number as the non receipt number?

Thanks for the advice with this. It really is appreciated.
I have philippine license,you should too. If they realize you live in phils its a little better. Tell them . Private message to u..oops,couldnt
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have philippine license,you should too. If they realize you live in phils its a little better. Tell them . Private message to u..oops,couldnt
I was planning to get a Filipino licence when my international one ran out. It makes perfect sense though. Will get on that asap. Thanks again, you have been more than helpful.
 

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I was planning to get a Filipino licence when my international one ran out. It makes perfect sense though. Will get on that asap. Thanks again, you have been more than helpful.
An "International License" cannot be used by itself. It must be accompanied with a official license.
An "International License" merely provides a common-format and several languages to help police in different countries.

Each country has a law which governs how long a person may travel on a foreign license within a country, usually the time period is between 30-90 days.

I presume the duration a person may travel on a foreign license corresponds to the duration of their tourist visa, but this is speculation on my part. I do not know what happens in a country if a tourist visa is issued for a longer duration than the duration one is allowed for a foreign license.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
An "International License" cannot be used by itself. It must be accompanied with a official license.
An "International License" merely provides a common-format and several languages to help police in different countries.

Each country has a law which governs how long a person may travel on a foreign license within a country, usually the time period is between 30-90 days.

I presume the duration a person may travel on a foreign license corresponds to the duration of their tourist visa, but this is speculation on my part. I do not know what happens in a country if a tourist visa is issued for a longer duration than the duration one is allowed for a foreign license.
It works on a country to country basis going by the issuing country. I have a full UK licence and my international licence (issued in the UK) is valid for one year and still very much valid. The police would not have threatened to confiscate it if it were not valid. Also i probably would have been in real trouble if that were the case.

Thanks for the concern though. :)
 

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To the TS, how did you know they were Police and not just Traffic Enforcers?

It is very very rare that regular members of the Police will meddle in traffic.

Nonetheless these highway robberies must be reported and with filing of charges you must attend the hearings so that the case can come to full fruition.
 

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To the TS, how did you know they were Police and not just Traffic Enforcers?

It is very very rare that regular members of the Police will meddle in traffic.

Nonetheless these highway robberies must be reported and with filing of charges you must attend the hearings so that the case can come to full fruition.
Take galactics advise. He has lived on both sides.
 

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You are only good for 90 days on an International driving permit. Also get a GoPro type of digital camera and mount it on your helmet so that when you are looking at them you are filming them. That way you are photographing the offending enforcer asking for a kick back. This will stop most of them when they see your camera on them. If asked why the camera, tell them that you have it for security issues should there be an accident. Also ask for a copy of their mission orders if they are LTO. There are rules that they have to follow when doing an LTO Checkpoint one of which is mission orders.
 

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Security camera sounds like a very good plan with any vehicle. I'm with another poster who mentioned, how do you know it's the police, some of these traffic enforcer uniforms look professional and so do they but? Get the Philippine driver's license and ditch those worthless International licenses.

Motorcycles are cool and easy to get around in the municipalities but out in the heavy traffic outside cities and highways you'll be targeted all the time by law enforcement. Have you thought about purchasing a used vehicle? I paid 65,000 Peso's for my 88 Mitsubishi Lancer, it's a bomb make no mistakes, window guides worn out but so far has held up for 5 years, with such low speeds the engines and manual transmissions hold up well.
 

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I drive as little as possible, not because of the police but when the locals see a foreigner driving half of the jump out in the middle of the road to claim my car hit them. ha ha ha
 

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Will do. Can i do that anonymously? Last thing i want is to cause trouble for myself. Is it the same number as the non receipt number?

Thanks for the advice with this. It really is appreciated.
Report ? seriously ?

There is no anonynous reporting process in Philippines

In the interest of Fair justice, even rape victims must appear in person and present themselves for any action.

cops trying to steal ? Really ? Why is that shocking ? :D

Just forget it ..

If you want to drive, drive out of town, like in Provinces, where the cops aren't so hard up for money, as they have other jobs .. (such as private guards,during work or after work, I have no clue, or engage in 'businesses', or some even driving tricycle after work, or even maybe during work, to supplement their income - seen them all) which Manila cops can't, as they are pretty stuck in traffic most of the times

As for security cameras etc, nowadays, that can backfire very badly, and the cops can get very personal. and they have got personal in more than a few cases.

They'd rather shoot you than risk losing their life time employment plans.

I drive as little as possible, not because of the police but when the locals see a foreigner driving half of the jump out in the middle of the road to claim my car hit them. ha ha ha
True .. but not in the provinces, again ..

To the TS, how did you know they were Police and not just Traffic Enforcers?

It is very very rare that regular members of the Police will meddle in traffic.

Nonetheless these highway robberies must be reported and with filing of charges you must attend the hearings so that the case can come to full fruition.
well, traffic enforcer or police, doesn't matter

My nephew was driving along Caloocan, and the traffic enforcer stopped us in a traffic light, for not signalling, because he saw the passenger was not a local.

A bit of negotiation, and I tried to demand a receipt etc, the enforcer just took the license of my nephew and walked away, back to his bike. What do you do ?

Leave your car in a traffic junction and obstruct traffic ?

Or move ahead, and get stopped by the enforcer's buddy, who is waiting to catch the driver for driving without a license ?

A quick, less and 500 peso settled it

That's life

When govt servants are severely under paid, they have to supplement their basic pay

And almost all make cash advances and when say, the basic pay of 20K is released, after deduction, they get less than 5K at times, in hand.

How can they survive ?

Just sayin, how life in Ph is ..
 
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