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Finally, they are widening Ban-Tal Road, but...

SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila (The Freeman) - August 5, 2014 - 12:00am

Here’s a very special announcement. The Congregation of Saint John, a Catholic community of brothers, apostolic sisters, and secular members up in Banawa Hills will be hosting an open discourse called Kahayag (Cebuano term for “light”) Forum with the theme “In Search for the Meaning of Life” at Sacred Heart Center - Convention Hall, D. Jakosalem St., Cebu City on August 6 (Wednesday), 2014 at 1-8 PM. This forum aims to share the precious philosophical and theological heritage from St. John’s founder, Fr. Marie-Dominique Philippe, O.P., at the service of the New Evangelization in Cebu.

Through the years, I have come to know the Congregation of St. John up there in Banawa Hills. I especially love their Holy Mass which starts at 10:30AM up to 12:00PM, a bit long for most ordinary Catholics. But if Catholics only understood that “The Holy Mass is heaven on earth” according to my favorite author Dr. Scott Hahn, a Catholic convert from Protestantism and author of many Catholic books inspired by the Bible, then time would simply pass and you would realize that one hour and 30 minutes for a mass is just too short.

The priests at St. Johns Priory, notably Fr. Justin Lee and Fr. Jesus Rodriquez and Fr. John de Pontac (he has since returned to France) have helped me strengthen my faith and spirituality. My only regret is that, I cannot always hear the Holy Mass there on Sundays especially when it rains as the roads going up to their priory is bad.

Fr. John Gabriel Goupil de Bouille, CSJ, Dean of Philosophy will talk about Finding Fulfillment: Challenges Today; while my good friend Regional Trial Court Judge Simeon Dumdum, Jr. will talk about “My Personal Search for the Meaning of Life.” Fr. Justin Lee will serve as moderator during an open floor discussion by the speakers and guests. This forum will end with a Holy Mass presided by His Excellency Archbishop Jose S. Palma. So do join this Forum at the Sacred Heart Center, who knows you’d finally find the real meaning of your life here on earth. Registration is P200.00.

*  *  *

I do not want to rain on your parade, but when I read the news that finally the Department of Public Works and Highways  have made their move to widen the Banilad-Talamban (Ban-Tal) Road, of course I was elated because this road widening was needed yesterday or should I say 10-years ago. Finally, we can see the light at the end of a short tunnel.

Perhaps you are wondering why I said short tunnel? That is because I have seen many studies on road widening projects in different countries and every time a road is widened, the traffic jams disappear, albeit temporarily because people just do not learn their lessons. When the roads are widened and cleared for passage, it results in more developers putting in new development in the area and therefore causes the increase in the sheer volume of vehicles passing that road; it would end up clogging the streets again.

I had a talk with Rep. Raul del Mar on this and he totally agrees that if we only did the infrastructure aspect of traffic management, widening the roads would be futile exercise. We must not lose sight of the three “E’s” of Traffic Management: Engineering, Education and Enforcement. The problem with most motorists, they only want the engineering aspect.

This is why many of my friends tell me that traffic management in Mandaue City is better than Cebu City because of their time signalized intersection. While we are all hard at work to improve on our traffic enforcement, we are woefully behind in traffic education. Of course, it starts with the Land Transportation Office that gives out driver’s licenses to individuals who know how to manipulate a vehicle’s controls and drive that vehicle. But these drivers with license do not know that when they violate traffic laws, they are violating the laws of the land.

Even those jeepney drivers who have been driving since they were young boys still do not understand that their driver’s licenses is a privilege granted by the State and it is not a right that is guaranteed by the Constitution.

That is why militant jeepney drivers always threaten to conduct a massive jeepney strike because they believe that they can cripple the economy of Cebu and bring the citizenry on its knees. How wrong they are in this thought. 

When you see jeepneys parked along the street, it is a violation of the rules of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board. But then, LTFRB officials just cannot see those violations, because something must be wrong with their eyes. This is why our narrow roads are so clogged. There is just too many violators and too little enforcement. If we really want to fix our problems, let us start with having those vulcanizing shops moved to inner roads, instead of the main roads. Let the LTO/LTFRB and CITOM educate our drivers of good road manners. Perhaps, Cebu just might lead the way in having better and courteous drivers on our roads.

vsbobita@mozcom.com

BANAWA HILLS CEBU CEBU CITY CHALLENGES TODAY CONGREGATION OF SAINT JOHN CONGREGATION OF ST. JOHN CONVENTION HALL HOLY MASS MEANING OF LIFE SACRED HEART CENTER
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