By Egay Uy
THE recent vehicular incident at the Maharlika Bridge where a cargo truck that was loaded with softdrinks bogged down, speaks well, or rather ill, of the kind of discipline we have as citizens. A live video footage posted on Facebook showed several people taking softdrinks from the truck with impunity.
I don’t know why people seem to transform into being entitled every time a vehicular incident such as that one happens. It seems people immediately shift from being behaved earthlings to thieves and robbers. Or worse, they even add injury to the injured that instead of helping the downtrodden, they gang up on the hapless individual by stealing from him who can only watch in disbelief.
After having seen that footage, I said to myself, maybe we should not wonder why it takes so much time for reforms to have their full effects. Take as an example the supposed reforms at the Divisoria. Nowadays, the wanton disregard for pedestrian lanes has resurrected. I see one of two reasons why this is so.
One is the lack of self-discipline of road users, and the other is the lack of consistency in the enforcement of rules by those who are tasked to do so. But then again, the latter is not even necessary if only everyone possesses self-discipline and has respect for others, the law included.
Just before nine o’clock the other night, I dropped off my wife, who is also a senior citizen, at Mercury Drug in Divisoria, and I had to do that at the middle of the travel lane along Tirso Neri street because taxi units waited for passengers and lined up inside the yellow box which is supposed to be for loading and unloading only. I’m not sure if there were traffic officers at that time.
Again, one of two things would come to mind. Those taxi drivers lacked self-discipline and respect for the law. And second, this has become a wrongful practice because of indifference in the enforcement of rules. I know by now you already have an idea what could have started the use of hazard lights to justify illegal parking.
The still ongoing clearing operations have resulted in literally widening the roads in the city. Although a few fencesitters have expressed disapproval of the operations, the greater majority has expressed approval and appreciation, as shown in the comments on Facebook.
But that is not the point. The point is that barangay officials who once refused to cooperate with the city government should now act and do justice to their oath of office.
After all, they have the mandate to assist the city mayor enforce city ordinances in their respective areas. Try checking the Local Government Code.
(Egay Uy is a lawyer. He chairs the City’s Regulatory and Complaint Board, co-chairs with the city mayor the City Price Coordinating Council, and chairs the city’s Joint Inspection Team. He retired as a vice president of Cepalco.)