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>The Beekeeper

>Onli in Irong-Irong, da Pilipins

by Pet Melliza

Irong-irong indeed is blessed with the Traffic Mismanagement and Mis-engineering Unit which solves everything except traffic snarls.

The campaign of the city against jaywalking is all for show. The task force anti-jaywalking si stacked with casuals and “job hires” (those whose term of employment is during the duration of the project implementation) untrained and unschooled.

They wear no ID nor uniform and nothing to identify them. They don’t even show proof that they are authorized to enforce the ordinance penalizing jaywalking. But they turn a blind eye, just like their counterparts in the Traffic Mismanagement and Mis-Engineering Unit which is stacked by casuals who are political appointees — members of the task force anti-jaywalking turn a blind eye on the real culprits of gridlocks on roads: private vehicles parked on either side of the road, some diagonally, even vertically.

Big businesses which convert roads into their private and exclusive garages are the main causes of traffic snarls but the royal ruling class of the Kingdom of Irong-Irong don’t bother to address that at all.

Some business establishments even have the gall to put up signs on the road claiming it as their own parking lot.

Roads are considered, “beyond the commerce of men”, pardon this sexist phrase, to mean that they are public property which no one can appropriate for itself.

At the junction of Luna and Valeria Streets, the main cause of the gridlock is a mall whose delivery vans block traffic as they load and unload at its bodega but the managers of the Kingdom of Irong-Irong would rather squeeze the neck of pedestrians instead of the culprit.

Last Friday, February 22, a task force member apprehended a woman right at the pedestrian lane itself. She remonstrated: “Ngaa dakpon ako kay sa pedestrian lane man ako nag-agi?” The casual shot back: “Ti kay naggwa ka sa linya.”

It was a long argument. The poor woman insisted that she had to step out of the lane because pedestrian lane was blocked by a jeepney which stopped to pick up passengers.

The driver who loaded in the middle of the pedestrian lane was not apprehended for blocking pedestrian traffic, the poor woman was for jaywalking. I was also passing the pedestrian lan e at that time when their argument caught my attention. I inquired what the problem was, the casual did not answer but told her to wait as he would still consult with his supervisor. I told the woman to leave as I will be the one to confront the task force members.

About seven meters away, a lady who appeared to be their supervisor was standing by. “Why are not even in uniform not with ID car? How could we know if you are indeed a member of the task force?” I asked her.

“Sir, wala pa kami ID kay bag-o pa lang kami,” she answered.

So that does it: onli in Irong-Irong!


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