Adda who? Guns gone, enter ‘yantok’

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AND I thought it was traffic that keeps tearing the metropolis apart almost seven days a week, with P4 billion going up in smoke each day? Will the Anti-Distraction Driving Act (Adda) help ease traffic jams in Metro Manila, particularly at Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (Edsa), C-5, Mindanao Avenue and Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City?

I don’t think so. No amount of Adda-inspired apprehensions—no contact or contact, whatever—could produce a miracle for our traffic woes to end so grandly in the foreseeable future. So why the big fuss over Adda, as if this is the cure, finally, to the No. 1 scourge of everyday Metro living that is traffic?

As I’ve said repeatedly here:   Some 17 choke points on Edsa from Balintawak to Baclaran and back had been pinpointed for so long now.   But also for so long now, solutions to break these choke points down—dismantle would be the more appropriate word, maybe?—have yet to be discovered, if not implemented.

We hear of “kotong cops” derailing traffic-initiated reforms all the time. But have our authorities done enough to remedy such malady?   A deafening no!

In Cubao alone, if you turn right from Aurora Boulevard to Edsa, jeepneys virtually block the way all day and all night, as they park before the curve to load/unload passengers.

Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) enforces, cops and possibly barangay officials, too, are very visible over there. But, alas, they do nothing at all, collectively turning a blind eye to the rampant violation of road rules. If you say they are not on the take—jeepney drivers are known to shell out “protection money” to you know who for a worry-free travel—you were born yesterday.

The choke points at Edsa are there on purpose—meaning, they are tolerated, so that “grease money” flows unimpeded from violators, aka bus/jeepney drivers, to crooks, aka traffic enforcers.

Some even continue to peddle the crazy idea that too many vehicles—volume vehicles—is the main cause of traffic snarls at Edsa.

Of course, not. That’s like saying too many alcoholic drinks in the market will cause many people to become alcoholics. Alcoholism has never been a problem in this country.   But drug addiction is—sadly. Why, because drugs prey on mostly nonthinkers, with authorities mostly behind the plague. But the thinking lot do not become alcoholics because they think first before they drink.   Unfortunately, it’s the reverse in drug addiction; they drug first before they think. Before they know it, they end up walking dead. Useless to society.

But back to traffic.

Everybody knows the solution: Enforcement of laws.

No-parking signs violated in wild abandon. Enforcers do not enforce because that’d mean gutom (no money).

Loading/unloading signs ignored at will. Enforcers do not enforce or else, their bosses will hurl them to the doghouse.

In the place where I live, in Quezon City, our village gate entering/exiting from Commonwealth Avenue is blocked by a jeepney/bus stop—eternally. Where in the world can you find such abomination? Almost always, tempers rise from my poor fellow residents honking their horns for jeepneys/buses to clear the path. Thank God, a road rage has yet to happen in my beloved village.

This jeepney/bus stop was built during the time yet of Bayani F. Fernando as the MMDA chairman.

Francis N. Tolentino, as an MMDA chief is gone, but not this aberration of a government-instituted structure.

I had planned to present my case to Tim Orbos, a dear buddy of mine. But, alas, no luck. He has just been replaced as MMDA officer in charge by Danny Lim. I do not know Lim. Sorry na lang me.

I moved to this superbly quiet village in 1993. I have kept my peace all these years.   And, as part of my anger management, I have just donated my two guns—one to a gentleman dentist from San Fernando City, Pampanga, and the other to an officer and a gentleman, who is a product of the Philippine Military Academy.

Replacing my two guns is a short stick of yantok.

You will never know.

PEE STOP It’s been 12 days since Manny Pacquiao lost his WBO world welterweight belt to big-time underdog Jeff Horn. But Pacquiao wasn’t that sad overall, as he emerged from the debacle richer by $10 million. Raymond T. Rodriguez was also a big winner of sorts on July 2, as he passed his baptism of fire with flying colors—that is, that Raymond, in his brand-new role as Lexus Manila president, hosted his motoring media buddies to a live pay-per-view viewing of the Pacquiao fight in smashing success. The food was good as usual, thanks to Boni Pimental of Ilustrado fame. But what made Boni’s buffet fare taste even better was the usual “unli” flow of the famed Macallan single malt; it was swell all the way, even when taken in cadence-like fashion, in mid-afternoon yet. Here’s to you, Raymond-san! Tradition lives on!