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CTALK - Cito Beltran - The Philippine Star

Do it, don’t spray it. Once again the LTFRB flexes its muscles only to show the public it has no balls.

Yet again, the LTFRB announces plans to phase out public utility vehicles that are 15 years or older. In a matter of days, they beat a hasty retreat claiming they need to undertake further consultations with the jeepney operators. This idea has been in the LTFRB catacombs for decades, it has been an on-going subject of criticism and evidence of the LTFRB’s lack, or absence of political will. There is strong public support for the phaseout proposition and there have been enough solutions and suggestions put forward on how to help jeepney owners and drivers make the transition to better and more efficient vehicles.

The fact of the matter is that our beloved “jeepney” is now a thing of the past. It is an icon of Filipino ingenuity and practicality. Let’s keep it that way, on the shelf, in our history books, tourist display areas but no longer in our streets. The jeepney of today is no longer the cute four-seater transformation of the Willys of MacArthur. What we now have are supersized cammelions or the equivalent of Japanese Trojan horses that carry 20 and not just four in its belly. Judging from the wishy-washy, dilly-dallying of the LTFRB leadership, I can simply conclude that they were prevailed upon by some Congressmen or Senators because nothing else could possibly stop an idea whose time has been long overdue.

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How is it possible that 2.4 million people never heard of a yearlong campaign of the COMELEC promoting the “No Bio – No Boto” voters registration? Considering every city, town and barangay official got involved and spread the word, while the COMELEC went all over media, there is no plausible excuse for 2.4 million voters not to have registered unless they chose NOT TO REGISTER!

Sorry but when I recall all the senior citizens who were inconvenienced, all the people who had to give up their precious Saturday day-off from work, I get really angry that people now want special treatment for failing or not registering for an entire year! As law-abiding citizens, we complied with the law. Those who dragged their feet or failed to prioritize or give importance to their electoral right or privilege should be left to do without!

I can understand if the COMELEC failed to implement a program correctly or if the “No Bio – No Boto” was discriminatory or subject to manipulation, then there would be reason for the SC to issue a TRO. The thing is the whole program was planned well, executed well, and the COMELEC and local governments did not fail in telling the public way ahead and consistently. So why should the majority be deprived, penalized or disenfranchised as scheduled because of the minority? Yes everybody is entitled to legal remedy, but the remedy should be given with wisdom and not automatically as a matter of right.

The petitioners before the SC represent a group of people whose wrong attitude or response to the “No Bio – No Boto” campaign caused them to be disadvantaged. It was a self inflicted wound. The last thing we need to happen is for what is WRONG to be treated as if it were right.

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Judging from the way Manila Water responded to my cry for “TUBIG” or the lack of water pressure in Barrio Kapitolyo, Pasig City, I will certainly use them as a business model for media monitoring, customer engagement and resolution because their response was the corporate equivalent of sending a SWAT team. I am not exaggerating. I don’t know if they react equally in all cases but by the opening of business hours I immediately received word from the corporate communications team, a senior executive high up as well as two inspectors, and a third team in full force with their contractor.

Even before I could notice, they had actually installed a water pressure gauge that we will now observe and record to determine the average water pressure throughout the day. This would scientifically determine whether the problem is from the outside and not on the inside of the house.

Once I knew the figures to watch and what the ideal pressure should be at certain hours, I immediately dispersed them because my neighbors were beginning to get curious why three vans of Manila Water were in front of my house? Given that I have three extra large aquariums people might get the suspicion that I was being audited for excessive use of water. Sorry we recycle water, we don’t waste it!

In any case, all the other consumer-oriented companies should consult with or study the Manila Water template because it tells me that they spend time monitoring complaints particularly those aired in media. Even better is the fact that their Corp. Comm team does not waste time contacting the customer or parties concerned, and while they obviously have a process and system of doing things, nobody waits for someone to initiate contact, everybody got into the act. They are apparently not bound by job description or title and if anything, it was impressive that three officers reached out within the same hour to advise me that they picked up the issue and what actions have been taken. This is how communications and customer relations should be.

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DTI Secretary Gregory L. Domingo is 99 percent certain to leave the DTI by yearend. It seems that Domingo, who I heard is the longest serving Secretary in the DTI, wants to leave in order to start his prohibition countdown that prevents a cabinet member from entering any business associated or connected with his or her previous post for a period of one year. The sooner he gets out of the DTI the sooner he can count down his days of “prohibition.”

I think we should all make an effort to abolish or rewrite such a law. I wrote in the past how the government and the public lose after every election because their candidate who don’t win but are highly qualified, are also prevented from joining the new administration for a year. Most cabinet members and political candidates are generally 50 or older. One year is very precious time lurking in back rooms giving confidential advice or working by remote control. Lift the ban now!

ACIRC BARRIO KAPITOLYO DOMINGO JAPANESE TROJAN MANILA WATER NO BIO NO BOTO ONCE I PASIG CITY SECRETARY GREGORY L WATER
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