Parking for the departed?
CTALK - Cito Beltran (The Philippine Star) - January 11, 2019 - 12:00am

The law requires one parking slot for every dead or departed soul?

No, it’s not a sick or morbid joke but the defense of a cemetery/columbarium developer who claims that their business remains in “limbo” because their columbarium can’t complete the necessary documents to operate because under the National Building Code, a columbarium falls under the classification of “condominiums.” Because of this, every “unit” or in this case every crypt technically speaking must have a counterpart parking space. This statement elicited a lot of laughter at a recent wake but the developer was not amused. It seems that this loophole in the law or system of classifying a columbarium under the National Building Code has become the means for extortion by local government officials.

Some local officials actually cite the code as being sensible because they believe that there should be parking space for people who want to visit their dear departed relatives especially during All Souls Day. This of course is generally the extortionist’s excuse, but once an arrangement or offer is made by desperate owners or developers, local government officials particularly those who have powers on zoning and permits, can and do use their “privilege for special re-zoning,” citing that it will bring in income to the local government and will be beneficial to the community. Sadly these corrupt government officials won’t accept exchange deals the same way they accept offers of one condominium unit instead of cash. Imagine being buried between thieves, that would certainly be a Christ-like experience.

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After supporting the proposal for  “RFID Only” on the Skyway, I’m glad to report that most of the response to the suggestion was positive at a score of 4 to 1. Those who did not fully agree offered a compromise such as imposing the rule for point to point only, specifically at the Alabang exit where a pile up regularly occurs. A friend from Baguio, Andrew Lam, suggested that the Skyway exit to NAIA be exempted because most people who use that exit are fewer in numbers and only use it to bring or pick-up relatives. Reader Dennis Locsin suggested that the rule should not be discriminatory and there was a suggestion from Resty Collado that cash payment still be allowed but only to one lane. Cathy Donato actually pushed the bar higher by suggesting that there should simply be one RFID card for ALL toll roads. These might work if an app could be developed and the Bankers Association can sort out the payment redistribution to operators.

I’m really glad that we got the desired response because the “RFID Only” idea is still just an idea or plan that is being suggested to the Toll Regulatory Board.

In similar manner, our suggestion that a segregated lane with barriers for motorcycles and bicycles and a separate bus lane that prevents buses from leaving their dedicated lanes received the same type of response. One of our readers Elvira Silarde also shared how she recently saw a motorcycle rider who was wearing a helmet killed after being “sandwiched” between a dump truck and another vehicle. This type of accident happens too often and can easily be avoided if DPWH Secretary Mark Villar and MMDA Chairman Danny Lim tried out the idea in certain stretches of EDSA. The MMDA and DPWH have enough small and large concrete and plastic barriers to conduct the simulation for separate “fenced” lanes for bikes, buses and carpool HOVs.

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Speaking of the DPWH as well as the current controversy where Congress is investigating the unbelievable amount of money being spent on drainage canals, we don’t have to go outside Metro Manila to show how millions of pesos is being spent for drainage projects in areas where it never floods. Our attention was recently called by some residents along the Balete drive and the New Manila area where kilometers of drainage canals have been dug up and built in areas that are elevated and never floods. The same goes for the sloping Pioneer Street area where rainwater would simply flush down to Pasig River. Aside from the unjustified expense and waste of taxpayers money, Secretary Mark Villar and his officers never seem to pay attention to the lament of local residents and motorists who are inconvenienced by abandoned or unfinished projects. The Pioneer street drainage project was abandoned by the contractor during the long Christmas holidays and is now causing traffic at the intersection of Reliance and Pioneer streets because of the unfinished work that’s been there for more than two months.

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Reader Edwin Go of Bagong Ilog Pasig City sent an email questioning why the local government and the MMDA allowed or provided a dedicated U-turn slot for motorists going to the Ayala 30th mall along Meralco Avenue. Go is not alone in making an issue of this new U-turn slot which gives customers a direct access to the mall and has resulted in a build up of traffic never before experienced in the area toward Henry Javier and Shaw Boulevard. What people like Mr. Go can’t understand is why this was allowed since Ayala 30th customers could just as easily do a U-turn at the existing intersection that is about 20 meters further. If the Pasig TPMO allowed U-turn and left turn toward St. Paul, all they would have to do is give the drivers extra time which in turn would help reduce the volume of cars going down the flyover and the cars coming from the Ortigas business center. This would actually speed things up unlike the additional U-turn slot to Ayala 30th that is now causing added delay.  As for me and my tribe, we simply walk from Barrio Kapitolyo to Ayala 30th Mall. It’s healthy and the mall has everything we want.

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E-mail: utalk2ctalk@gmail.com

COLUMBARIUM DEVELOPER DEPARTED SOUL
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