People shouldn’t be buying cars w/o garage
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila (The Philippine Star) - August 20, 2019 - 12:00am

Call it a dream come true for me in our desperate search for improving our traffic problems, but there seems to be  light at the end of the tunnel if Congress comes up with a bill that stops people from buying cars unless they have a parking space for the car.  Mind you, some years ago, I would travel to Tokyo, Japan and found that their traffic congestion was worse than the Philippines, but that was 20 years ago when we really did not have that much traffic. But the Japanese government created a law that prohibited people from purchasing cars or motor vehicles unless they show that they have a parking space for it. I was just in Tokyo four years ago and traffic there is still crowded but smooth running. It solved their traffic woes.

I just read the news that Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian is pushing the bill mandating all vehicle owners to show their proof of parking space before deciding to park on any road. The Gatchalian bill comes following President Rodrigo Duterte’s fourth State of the Nation Address that mentioned how private motorists use public roads to park their vehicles anywhere. Call this bill a bit short of what many people really wanted for people who buy cars to show proof of where they park their cars.

Mind you, I live in Capitol Hills, less than half a kilometer behind the Cebu Provincial Capitol and when my father built his house, it was the only house next to the Villalon Mansion on top of the hill. In 1960 we had no neighbors and the nearest village was Beverly Hills, which was a kilometer and a half from our home and yes, there were only two houses in Beverly Hills at that time. Unfortunately for us, the land beside our home was owned by the Province of Cebu and years later it eventually became a squatter colony. I have no doubt that many people have improved financially, which I find really a very good thing for Philippine society.

But 20 years ago, our neighborhood squatter colony burned to the ground and we thought that they would abandon their charred homes. On the contrary, five months after the fire, most of the homes built of wood were rebuilt using hollow blocks and cement. It was then that I realized that my neighbors already had good jobs that pay well enough for them to afford a new car. But they did not want to lose their present house, which occupy government owned property for nothing!

Last week when the City of Cebu ordered the traffic management to tow away cars parked along the streets  literally blocking the roadway, 200 cars were removed. Most of the owners complained in their Facebook page, asking the city government where would they park their cars? Frankly speaking, they should get a house in new communities in Cebu City’s bedroom communities either in town of Consolacion or Liloan, while communities there are still affordable. Someday parking space in Metro Cebu would become sky high.

Just for the heck of it, I googled and learned where and how much was the most expensive parking space in the world, and the highest happen to be in Hong Kong where a resident spent HK$6 million ($760,000) for a parking space inside a financial complex in Hong Kong called the Sun Hung Kai Properties Luxury project.

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Call it unbelievable, but the massive protest by millions of people from Hong Kong is now on its 11th week. So far, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) has not used the police to stop the massive protests unlike what happened a couple of weeks ago when the demonstration became violent. So far, many flights have been cancelled or delayed due to many people working in the Hong Kong International Airport joining the protests. In fact a few friends of mine had their flights delayed, but they told me that during the daytime, you wouldn’t even notice the demonstration while business goes as usual.

Of course, many people planning to visit the former Crown colony changed their travel plans and opted to visit other ASEAN nations. I don’t know how long this protest in HK would end, but it certainly has surpassed our EDSA Revolution and the many other peaceful revolutions as well, including the Tiananmen Square incident 30 years ago. Actually, Beijing is carefully handling this demonstration… and we can only hope that it ends as peacefully as it began.

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Last weekend, thousands of Cebu City volunteers went down the Guadalupe River that divides the north and south side of Cebu City led by Mayor Edgardo Labella. I didn’t read this report in the news, but it was splashed in the social media and indeed, Mayor Labella was true to his word that he would clean up the waterways of Cebu City starting with the Guadalupe River. Mind you, this clean up is not a campaign gimmick.

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Email: vsbobita@mozcom.com or vsbobita@gmail.com

HONG KONG MAYOR LABELLA TRAFFIC
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