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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, January 12, 2017
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Twinkling
with Ninfa Leonardia
OPINIONS

Mind the lights!

Ninfa Leonardia How many people in Bacolod still do not know what the red traffic lights mean? Has anybody else noticed that many drivers ignore the red light and still drive on even when the red light is already on? So far, I have not yet heard of any crashes of vehicles caused by ignorance of the red light, but should we wait for an accident before something is done?

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I do admit that the presence of more traffic enforcers had eased the problem a bit lately. In previous weeks it was next to impossible even to go through the street leading to the Circumferential Road without going through a lot of hassles, but in the past two days, that has improved a lot. But perhaps traffic enforcers should be posted even when there are traffic lights so they can, at least, record the plate numbers of violators and report them to the Land Transportation Office, or wherever it is that they can be sanctioned.

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But the opposite is also happening in the case of the green light. Note that many people still take the chance to cross the street even with the green light on. I have noticed this in the areas of schools, but will not mention which now. But they are mostly private schools where, you would think, their teachers would warn them about street crossing. When we were students, I remember our teachers directing us to always look to the left and then to the right, before crossing. Maybe schools now think their students are too modern and used to traffic to need instructions. And it's a pity.

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Well, well! At last President Duterte has signed the pension law hike for retirees, making him the hero of the elderly. Even if it is only half – P1,000 – of what they had expected, well, it's an increase, at least. There is a promise to release the other P1,000 in five years, and let us hope today's initial recipients will still be around to enjoy that. As one retirees said resignedly, “It's better than nothing”.

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It could be a one in a million chance, but it still could happen. In Bocaue, Bulacan, the two candidates for mayor, Eleanor Tugna and Jim Valerio, got exactly the same number of votes – 16,694 in all. I don't know if anyone had sought a recount but reports said the matter was settled through a coin toss, which fell in favor of the lady. The gentleman protested, but the Regional Trial Court decided in favor of Tugna, who reportedly said it was the will of God. It could also have been because of the prayers of her father, who happens to be the founder of the Jesus is Lord movement.

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Have you ever seen the picture of the hillside bearing the letters H O L L Y W O O D that prominently welcomes you to movielandia? A photo recently showed it vandalized with the two o's changed to EE, so it became HOLLYWEED. An explanation was that the vandal must have done it in disgust over the legalizing of marijuana, also known as the WEED, in California. Well, the culprit has been captured and identified as a 30-year-old man who has been charged for “misdemeanor trespassing”. Do we have that kind of law here?

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Alas for their clients, the days of the “Bombay” moneylenders are almost over. The President has ordered action against those motorbiking “bankers” whom you see stopping at sari sari stores and other small shops, to either entertain a borrower, or to collect the installments from them. I guess they became popular because of the fast and easy transaction – no paperwork, no notarization, no red tape. And the borrowers come across everytime they drop and zoom off after getting their due. I hope the government will think of a substitute to supply the capitalization needs of our small businessmen and women, just as easily and quickly.

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What have all those anti-hazing laws accomplished? A recent report said a young girl had to be hospitalized after she was beaten, slapped, and melted candle poured down her back. And this was a sorority, her torturers were all girls, too. The unfortunate teenager happened to be the daughter of the mayor of Lemery, Batangas. Let's see how the anti-hazing law works in this case.*

 

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