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Accident at faded traffic lane


An employee of the Iloilo Provincial Government and her child  collapsed at the pedestrian crossing connecting  Casa Plaza Building from the Capitol Building, Iloilo City.  The driver of the speeding taxi luckily stepped on the break on time; his victims suffered minor injuries. Her husband though, also a provincial employee, saw the near-tragic scene and rushed to apprehend the driver, giving the latter a couple of hooks to the jaw.

 
That portion of the street used to have clearly painted pedestrian marks. Years of use faded the white painted lines. The city government, its TMTRO which should read “traffic mismanagement and transport regulatory office”, failed to repaint it. And so did the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
 
We have roads or portions thereof waiting for repairs and maintenance, which include repainting of faded pedestrian lanes.  But government would rather opt for the binge of demolishing serviceable roads instead of repairing dilapidated ones.
 
We have the TMTRO which is mandated to discipline drivers and ensure road safety, but all its members prefer is to spring at and surprise drivers who are unaware of their violations.They are “ticket-oriented” and don’t bother to warn drivers about to park at no-park zones, for instance. A pack of traffic aides had this “business” of selling candies, biscuits and bottled water to drivers. Anybody who refuses to buy is punished with a ticket at the next block by another group of traffic enforcers.
 
***
Iloilo Gov. Arthur D. Defensor, Sr. is one man known for his candor. He calls a spade a spade but such trait is unwelcome in Iloilo City.
 
Asked by reporters to comment on the ecstatic statements by his counterpart, city mayor Jedd Patrick Mabiilog, of foreign tourists swarming on Iloilo with the Iloilo International Airport having been opened last year to direct flights to Singapore and Korea, Defensor wryly answered that he did not share the same enthusiasm.
 
“Ano nga tourism-tourism ‘ra man? Waay pa ma-develop ang tourism sa Iloilo…Wara pa gani masolbar problema sa tubig, tourism-tourism pa kamo?” he was quoted to have answered. Mabilog was dismayed by the answer and unleashed his barking dog Jepoy Celiz who growled at the governor for thinking Iloilo City being under his thumbs.  Of course, Jepoy, skirted the fact that Defensor, a resident of Mandurriao, Iloilo City, was and still is, a victim of the lackadaisical services of the local water utility which is better known for its efficiency in charging consumers for undelivered water instead of actually delivering one.
 
Mabilog must have intervened and reminded Jepoy to think first before opening his big mouth as shown later when Defensor was cornered by reporters to comment on Mabilog’s happy hysterics on the big chances awaiting the city in hosting  the ministerial meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in 2015.
 
Once Iloilo City’s bid is accepted, thousands of tourists will come, hotels will be fully booked, and economic activities will multiply by leaps, etc, says Mabilog. And the city will live happily every after.
 
“Antes kita maglyamar kang apek-apek nga na,” to paraphrase Defensor’s answer to reporters, “solbaron ta anay problema ta sa tubig.”
 
Mabilog was outside the country then. Jepoy, known for his readiness to pounce on anybody attacking Mabilog, let off a tame answer.
 
Derensor’s observation might be true and objective, rued Jepoy, but he delivered it with “arrogance”.
 
Well, Jepoy should realize that Defensor is not alone on that note. What the governor did was only to state the obvious – which any Pedro and Pilar know but  to which Mabilog and cabal persist to skirt: Iloilo City is just full of hot air.
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