Showing posts with label MMDA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label MMDA. Show all posts

Saturday, April 17, 2010


I read a news article about a candidate for vice mayor in a large city in Metro Manila who descended, along with the candidate's henchmen, on a group of MMDA personnel who were just doing their duty removing campaign materials from light posts and railings. The candidate allegedly accused the MMDA personnel of singling out the former's posters and proceeded to bully the personnel. According to the article, if not for the timely arrival of a police vehicle, the MMDA personnel would have been roughed up by the henchmen.

I guess the subject of the article represents many, but I hope not most, of those presenting themselves to be voted for public office this coming May 10. One word seems most appropriate for these people - abusive. If they are already abusive and act as if they are above the law while campaigning, what can we expect from these people when they do get voted into office?

Among my pet peeves are motorists using sirens (aptly referred to as "wang-wang" in Pinoy onomatopoeia) to get ahead of others in traffic. Then there are those who do not use their signal lights to indicate their intention to change lanes. These days, I've observed that many of these vehicles are those of candidates and their supporters. I am usually incensed that they do not have any regard for other people time and property and I've seen many incumbents running for reelection (or have their kin running in their stead) using government vehicles and police escorts to their advantage.

Transportation and traffic being an important part of what I am (I make a living in this field.), I can strongly conclude that one reason we do not have good transportation systems in this country is because our elected leaders do not have to contend with traffic congestion and the specter of being involved in a traffic accident. They get special treatment at airports and do not get to experience first-hand the inconvenience of queuing at immigration and waiting for your flight in sweaty departure areas. They don't experience the sardine-like conditions in trains and the mediocre services of our jeepneys, buses and tricycles.

It is sad that despite his claims to know what to do about traffic, a former MMDA Chair in fact rode a motorcycle escorted vehicle together with a convoy of about 6 to 8 vehicles and never got caught in traffic like most of us voters do. I know, because I've experienced being waved away from the convoy's path. Then there are those sporting the all too familiar license plates declaring they were senators and congressmen who seem always in a hurry for something.

I do salute public servants I know who are doing their darn best to improving traffic and transport and seem to have too little time to do their thing. Many of them remain nameless even after assuming positions of influence. But there are a few who have made a name for themselves for being mavericks in their own ways. Sadly, these people might be out of their jobs once a new administration is elected this May. I do hope they remain in their offices and am crossing my fingers that we do not have abusive people replacing them.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Not Even a Statistic

It was like just one of those mornings. I leave for the office early and look forward to a few minutes of quiet time in front of my desk. Time I can use to sort documents, to check e-mails and catch up on friends through Facebook.

Then it happened...the taxi in front of me applies the brakes. I hit mine. But not as abrupt as the taxi as I always keep a good distance behind in case of sudden stops. I hear a thud. No, it was more like a crunch. I look behind, and lo and behold, a motorcycle rider trying to scratch his head through his helmet. I put on the hazard lights and alight from the car. It wasn't going to be one of those days. Today was different. I was on the receiving end of an accident.

I won't talk about the expression on the face of the motorcyclist as he realized how much the damage would cost him. I won't talk about how he didn't want to show me his license and the registration of his motorcycle. I won't even talk about the impromptu lecture I had to give this morning about safe driving and its social and financial aspects. What's done is done and I'm sort of a forgiving person, knowing where I can't get anything. Perhaps it's just a wake up call. I just hope the other guy took notice.

Being in the transportation field, we call these things road traffic accidents. I just joined the hundreds or even thousands of people who get involved in accidents. What's sad is that my case is classified among the unknowns. Yes, Mr. MMDA Chair, your accident stats aren't at all accurate! What frustrated me and ultimately pissed me off this morning was the fact that several MMDA enforcers on motorcycles passed us by without even checking what happened and inquiring on the reason for the instant congestion our incident caused. Talk about training, talk about the drivers' faults, but don't take responsibility for this because its other people's fault that our streets aren't safe. In our accident reporting system, you have to be critically injured or dead to be a statistic. Maybe that's how a statistic is defined in MMDA terms. Perhaps that's how it's defined by our government or at least by some people who make the government look bad. But who am I to talk about these things? I'm not even a statistic!

Disclaimer: I am a government employee and I do serve the people.