Will the “Beep” become a game changer?
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Valeriano Avila (The Freeman) - September 19, 2019 - 12:00am

As headlined in SunStar Daily, 15 modern bus-jeeps (Beeps) were blessed as part of the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program of the Duterte Administration at the Plaza Independencia last Monday, the first of 40 Beeps to finally usher in a fresh change in our mass transportation system in Metro Cebu. This project, supposedly owned by the Cebu People’s Multi-Purpose Cooperative, would greatly benefit old jeepney drivers who may want to join this group.

As we read the news report, for the first two months, the Beeps will bring passengers to their destinations for free. Each Beep has a capacity of 35 passengers and has a closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera, a global positioning system and a speed limiter, and I guess it has air-conditioning, which was not even mentioned, but from the outside look of the Beeps, the windows are closed. Macario Quevedo, the cooperative’s chief executive officer (CEO) they plan to use cards so passengers don’t have to fumble for change in their pockets.

At the end of the day, the proposed fare is P10. Now whether that would make a profit for the cooperative that has to purchase each Beep for P1.9 million per unit, I really have no idea. I’m sure the big question nagging the minds of jeepney riding Cebuanos is whether the Beep would render the venerable jeepney extinct. I’m sure that is the general idea. But as I’ve always wrote, the only way that we can really get rid of the jeepney is to present to the public a vehicle that is a better idea than our current jeepney today. For me, the Beep that they have launched looks like a great idea, after all the jeepney has none of the accessories that the Beep has in store.

The other most important question that I’m sure that jeepney-riding Cebuanos want to know is whether or not the Beep stops anywhere just like a jeepney. This is something that Land Transportation Regulatory and Franchising Board (LTFB) officials should tell us because if we let the Beep stop anywhere it wants then the Beep doesn’t solve our current traffic problems. At this point, I would like to suggest that officials of the Cebu City Traffic Office (CCTO) should map out plans for Beep stops, which should be around 2 to 300 meters apart so passengers do not have to walk that far to get to a Beep station. So can our Cebuano passengers live with this practice?

Lastly, I earnestly hope that the owners of the Beep would set up a route that our jeepneys have not followed. I’m referring to the Transcentral Highway that is really served by the habal-habal motorcycles, whose fares are quite exorbitant and the danger in riding motorcycles always present? I certainly hope that the Beep cooperative would look into this. Meanwhile if the cooperative and the CCTO can do this, then we can say that the Beep is truly a game changer in our mass transportation system.

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Ever since we got to study the Catholic religion and read the Bible, we have always been told what our Lord Jesus said about divorce, “What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder and the two will become one flesh.' So they are no longer two, but one flesh.” This has always been our reality, even if we know that some marriages failed simply because the love that a couple found for each other has vanished. For many months now, I have been watching movies in Netflix and one of my favorites is King Henry VIII, who divorced his Spanish wife without the consent of the Pope and created the Church of England, which is today the Anglican Church.

Later King Henry VIII married Anne Boleyn, whom he later had her beheaded and married three more women because after all, he was no longer a Catholic. That is a true story and even when kings cannot get the approval of the Vatican or the pope, they get out of the Catholic Church. So here I was watching the first Senate hearing on the divorce-related bills, where an emotionally stressed woman who had problems with her husband wanted the Senate to approve a di-vorce law for the Philippines.

This matter is simple to resolve. Having a divorce law in the Philippines isn’t going to change the doctrines of the Catholic Church. So I suggest that those seeking to separate with their hushands do so by getting out of the Catholic Church and join other Christian sects that allow divorce in their communities.

vsbobita@gmail.com

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